King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session (2/27/12)

February 27, 2012

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today. He began with a briefing on his latest contacts with foreign leaders, describing a meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Al-Jebali; messages he received from Iraqi President Jalal Al-Talabani and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev; and telephone conversations with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev.

Next, the Cabinet reviewed international efforts to deal with the crisis in Syria, stressing once again that the Kingdom will be at the forefront of any initiative aimed at achieving quick and comprehensive solutions that will protect the Syrian people. It welcomed the convening of the International Conference of the Friends of the Syrian People in Tunisia last week and insisted that any parties who disrupt international efforts to end the violence will be held morally responsible for further bloodshed.

Continuing on the topic of foreign affairs, the Cabinet congratulated Abd Rabo Mansour Hadi on his election as the new President of Yemen and wished the Yemeni people progress, prosperity and stability. The ministers also lauded the statement issued by the London Conference on Somalia, which underscored the importance of cooperation to achieve political stability in that country, as well as to combat terrorism, piracy and starvation. Finally, the Cabinet praised the efforts being exerted by the Specialist Commission assigned to study proposals related to the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to form a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Union.

Turning to the domestic front, the Cabinet praised the speech delivered by King Abdullah during an audience for participants in the 9th Meeting for National Dialogue, which reflected the Saudi monarch’s sincere commitment to promote the tolerant Islamic faith. It also underscored the importance of the 3rd Consultative Meeting of the Speakers of G-20 Parliaments, which was held in Riyadh last week. Finally, the ministers welcomed the achievements of the Ministry of Justice, which was recently ranked first in the world in the rate of speedy transfer of real estate ownership.

Addressing its remaining agenda items, the Cabinet approved implementing a convention on the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons and approved the manner in which they should be destroyed; authorized the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation to sign a draft agreement in the field of air transport services with Kuwait; approved a protocol attached to the convention signed by the Kingdom and France for the avoidance of double taxation; and approved a seeds and seedlings system in GCC member states.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Abdulaziz Al-Drees as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Abdulkareem Hilal as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Zuhair Zahed as Assistant Undersecretary of City Planning at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (14th rank); and Ahmad Al-Abdulqader as Financial Advisor at the General Auditing Bureau (15th rank).