King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session

February 28, 2011

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz began the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today by expressing his gratitude to the people of Saudi Arabia and around the world who have offered their well-wishes on his return home. He briefed the Cabinet on his conversations with foreign officials, including a message he sent to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and telephone calls received from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

For its part, the Cabinet thanked King Abdullah for the issuance of several royal orders last Wednesday that increased salaries, benefits and governmental assistance to Saudi citizens. Mechanisms for the immediate implementation of the directives were reviewed.

After listening to briefings on the latest developments at the regional and international levels, the Cabinet congratulated the Kuwaiti government and people on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their independence, the 20th anniversary of their liberation and the 5th anniversary of the assumption of the throne of Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

The Cabinet also reviewed the current state of the global oil market, specifically addressing the implications of events in Libya on crude production. The Cabinet wished Libya and its people prosperity and stability and expressed hope that that the country will resume its previous level of oil production shortly. Furthermore, the ministers reasserted the Kingdom’s commitment to the promotion of a stable energy market through the provision of secure supplies and ongoing consultations between producers and consumers. They stressed that a balanced oil market, protected from harmful price swings, serves the best interest of all parties.

Turing to domestic issues, the Cabinet reviewed the scientific, cultural and economic events that took place last week in the Kingdom, particularly the extraordinary ministerial meeting of the International Energy Forum. The gathering, which marked the 20th anniversary of the initiation of formal dialogue between producing and consuming countries, witnessed the signing of the new Charter of the IEF Secretariat General by eighty-seven countries.

Addressing its weekly agenda, the Cabinet approved an amendment to the regulations of the system of individual service; approved a number of decisions pertaining to dairy products; agreed that the state shall shoulder 50% of the total cost of passports, driver’s license issuance, and the transfer of ownership and renewal of house workers’ Iqama for another 3 years; approved the state’s shouldering of the difference between the tariff duty prescribed by the GCC Uniform Customs Tariff and the currently applicable tariff duty in the Kingdom on 180 commodities; and approved the organization of the Saudi Internal Auditors Association.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Hani bin Amin bin Muhammad Sindi as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Fahd bin Ali bin Fahd Al-Minaiei as Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Civil Status Agency of the Ministry of Interior; Khalid bin Abdulhadi bin Muhammad Al-Hazli as Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Hajj; Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Mujalli as Assistant Undersecretary for Social Welfare; and Salih bin Nasser bin Eimair Al-Eimair as Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Social Affairs. All the appointments were made at the 14th rank.