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 his meetings and consultations with world leaders and their envoys.
Turning to the situation in Palestine, the Cabinet expressed the hope that the international community and countries with influence on the Palestinian issue would support a national unity government that represents all Palestinians. The Cabinet called on the international community to compel Israel to meets its responsibilities vis-à-vis UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
On Lebanon, the Cabinet said that it hoped that unity and independence would override any other internal differences.
Regarding Iraq, the Cabinet affirmed the Kingdom’s support for any efforts that emphasize Iraq’s unity and Arab and Islamic identity. The Cabinet expressed its hope that the Iraqi government would implement its previously announced program to provide security; seek national unity; and amend the constitution to ensure equal rights among all Iraqis.
On domestic issues, the Cabinet praised the Jenadriyah Heritage and Culture Festival, which is currently underway, as an important link to the Kingdom’s past as well as a platform for dialogue among Arab intellectuals. The Cabinet emphasized the importance of dialogue, as expressed in King Abdullah’s remarks at the opening ceremonies of the festival.
The Cabinet issued a number of decisions. It approved measures to restructure certain aspects of government entities related to trade. These measures include clarifying that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry would continue to handle international trade issues as well as requirements related to the World Trade Organization (WTO); and establishing a separate Saudi permanent representative to the WTO.
It also approved an anti-corruption bill; granted a license for the establishment of the Al-Shaqeeq Water and Electricity company; approved the formation of a national committee for combating tobacco; and addressed issues related to the Saudization in the gold and jewelry industry.
Appointments approved by the Cabinet today included Abdulrahman bin Abdulkareem bin Salih Almufrej as Assistant Undersecretary of Al-Jouf Governorate; Mohammed bin Abdulkareem bin Ibrahim Al-Quafli as Administrative Consultant at the General Presidency of the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque; and Dr. Fahd bin Muhamad bin Sultan Al-Khidir as Director General of the Riyadh branch of the presidency of the Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. The Cabinet also approved a number of appointments for the Agricultural Bank.