Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today.
The King opened the meeting by briefing the Cabinet on the eighth consultative meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders, held in Riyadh over the weekend. King Abdullah welcomed the positive atmosphere of the meeting, and stressed that critical issues in the region and beyond require a united approach on the part of the Gulf countries. This approach must one that offers a clear vision and a considered plan to enhance security, stability and prosperity; support joint Arab action; and promote friendly relations with countries around the world, the King said.
In a statement after the meeting, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that the King also briefed the Cabinet on his recent talks and contacts with foreign leaders and their envoys. King Abdullah also praised the current visit by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo and the friendly relations between the two countries.
On international issues, the Cabinet renewed its call for national unity among the Palestinians as the only way to achieve their goal of an independent state.
Turning to domestic matters, the Cabinet was briefed on a detailed report by the Ministers of Finance and Communication concerning a project to expand the government’s electronic services.
The Cabinet issued a number of decisions. Upon the recommendation of Crown Prince Sultan, the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) will be associated with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. SASO’s board of directors will be reorganized, with the Minister of Commerce and Industry as chairman and SASO’s director general as deputy chairman. The board will consist of representatives from the ministries of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Commerce and Industry, Water and Electricity, Agriculture, and Health, as well as from the Meteorology and Environment Protection Department, the Traffic Directorate, the Department of Customs, the General Commission for Food and Medicine, and three businessmen to be appointed by the Minister of Commerce and Industry in coordination with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The Cabinet approved a draft general agreement for economic, commercial and investment cooperation with Cuba. It also agreed to add a representative of the General Commission for Food and Medicine to the Health Services Council.
Appointments approved today include Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Sudairi
as ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Abanami as a director general at the Ministry of Education.