2006 News Story

Cabinet: Abqaiq attack, Iraq, Palestinian situation

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today.

King Abdullah opened the meeting by expressing his unwavering confidence in the Kingdom’s security forces. He lauded their success in combating terrorism, and praised them for successfully foiling the terrorist attack on the Abqaiq oil facility, a great national facility that benefits all. The attack resulted in the deaths of innocent Muslims and endangered the lives of hundreds of citizens, the King said.

King Abdullah stressed Saudi Arabia’s strong, unified position that such terrorist acts without heed for religion, homeland or the sanctity of human life must be confronted.

In a statement following the meeting, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that King Abdullah briefed the Cabinet on the previous week’s talks with world leaders and envoys in which the Kingdom emphasized its firm stance on national, Arab and international issues.

On international issues, the Cabinet strongly denounced recent events in Iraq and called on all Iraqis to unite and confront efforts to divide them and sow dissension.

Turning to the Palestinian situation, the Cabinet expressed its support for efforts to bring about conciliation among Palestinians so that political differences will not hinder the realization of their basic interests or their commitment to regional stability. The Cabinet called on the international community to support Palestinian national institutions.

On domestic issues, the Cabinet praised the cultural events and activities associated with the National Heritage and Culture Festival at Jenadriyah, noting that the events demonstrate the Kingdom’s vitality and its openness to culture and knowledge.

The Cabinet also issued a number of decisions. The Minister of Interior or his deputy was authorized to negotiate and sign a draft agreement with Turkey on cooperation in the extradition of accused and convicted individuals and in the exchange of carrying out punishments.

The Cabinet approved an agreement for economic cooperation between Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Turkey that was signed in Manama on May 30, 2005, as well as a five-year, renewable agreement of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Singapore on economic, scientific and educational issues.

In addition, the Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between members of the Financial Action Group for the Middle East and North Africa to combat money laundering and terrorism financing that was signed on November 30, 2004. Per the MoU, member countries agree to implement UN resolutions pertaining to money laundering and terror financing.

The Cabinet approved a number of appointments, including: Mohammed Fidau’ddin bin Mahmoud bin Fayyadh Al-Idris as Director General of the Social Services Department at the Ministry of Economy and Planning; Dr. Abdulrahman bin Ibrahim Abdulaziz Almidaires as Director General of the Education Department in the Eastern Region at the Ministry of Education; Mohammed bin Ali bin Hamad Alabadani as Assistant Undersecretary for Budget and Organization at the Ministry of Finance; and Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Rasheed Alrasheed as Director General of the Central Administration for Organization and Management at the Ministry of Finance.