King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session (1/9/12)

January 9, 2012

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz began the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today with a briefing on his latest contacts with foreign leaders, including a telephone call he received from Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and a series of messages he sent to leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Reviewing developments in the Arab world, the Cabinet hailed the efforts of the Arab Ministerial Committee on Syria. Following a meeting on Sunday, the Committee called upon the Syrian government to fully and quickly implement the Arab League Protocol, ensuring the protection of Syrian civilians and cooperating with the Arab League monitoring mission. The Cabinet condemned the terrorist bombing that took place in Damascus on Friday, which resulted in many deaths and injuries. The ministers also condemned the series of terrorist attacks that have killed many innocent civilians in Iraqis.

The Cabinet welcomed the bilateral talks that recently took place in Jordan between Palestinian and Israeli representatives in the presence of envoys of the Quartet. It characterized the effort to restart stalled negotiations as a positive step and expressed appreciation to the Jordanian government.

Turning to domestic affairs, the Cabinet reviewed national economic developments in light of the issuance of the state budget for fiscal year 1433/1434 H. The ministers lauded the commitment of budget planners to promoting sustainable development, balancing spending between sectors and regions and creating more jobs for Saudi citizens. King Abdullah underscored the importance of strictly implementing the budget in order to achieve greater national prosperity.

Addressing developments in the international oil market, the Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to balancing supply and demand and maintaining reasonable prices. In this regard, it stressed, the boycotting of oil supplies from any source remains a domestic affair of the respective boycotting country. The Kingdom’s oil sales, moreover, are merely part of a commercial process that comes about as a result of deals between its oil producing companies and international oil market commercial companies who purchase the goods.

Finally, the Cabinet expressed thanks to the Indian government for its decision to abolish the dumping fees once imposed on Saudi Arabian exports of polypropylene.

Addressing its remaining agenda items, the Cabinet approved two cooperation agreements on civil defense and combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with Qatar; approved a memorandum of cooperation between the King Abdulaziz Foundation and the Isa Cultural Center of the Kingdom of Bahrain; approved a framework convention on economic, trade, investment and technical cooperation between GCC member states and Malaysia; re-formed the boards of the Civil Aviation Authority and Saudi Arabian Airlines; and authorized the Minister of Finance to sign, with countries with whom the Kingdom has signed agreements on the avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion, an annex protocol to amend an article on information exchange.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Abdulrahman Al-Hazaa as Undersecretary of International Cultural Relations at the Ministry of Culture and Information (15th rank); Saleh Al-Mogilaith as Assistant Undersecretary of Engineering Affairs at the Ministry of Culture and Information (14th rank); Sadoun Al-Sadoun as Administrative Advisor at the Ministry of Culture and Information (15th rank); Dr. Saad Al-Shuraimi as Director General of the Head Office at the General Intelligence Presidency (14th rank); Latifah bint Suleiman Abu Nian as Director General of Social Female Supervision at the Ministry of Social Affairs (14th rank); and Faleh Al-Harbi as Social Security Advisor at the Ministry of Social Affairs (14th rank).