King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session (4/18/11)

April 18, 2011

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz began the weekly Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh today with a briefing on his latest foreign contacts, including the meetings he held with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, and Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Hisashi Tokunaga and a message and telephone call he received from U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Cabinet listened to a number of reports on regional and international developments, following with particular interest the ongoing crisis in Yemen. A briefing was delivered on the outcome of the 33rd Extraordinary Meeting of the Foreign Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held in Riyadh yesterday, which was attended by a Yemeni opposition delegation and involved the discussion of a GCC initiative to solve the crisis. The Cabinet lauded the constructive dialogue that took place at the meeting and welcomed the international support for the GCC initiative offered by the Arab League, the European Union, and the United States.

Then, the Cabinet reviewed the Saudi cultural and economic activities that took place inside and outside the Kingdom last week, including the 26th Janadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Cultural and the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Contest for the Memorization and Recitation of the Holy Quran, which was held in Senegal under the auspices of President Abdoulaye Wade.

Finally, the Cabinet praised the security operations that took place during the first quarter of this year, which resulted in the arrest of a number of individuals involved in smuggling narcotics.

Turning to its agenda items, the Cabinet authorized the President of the General Authority of Civil Aviation to sign a draft agreement in the field of air transport services with Tajikistan; approved a number of procedures pertaining to attracting foreign scientists and experts to the Kingdom, including the developing of a “Scientist” or “Expert” visa; authorized the Minister of Agriculture to sign a draft memorandum of understanding in the field of agriculture and livestock between the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture and the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture; and approved the reactivation for another three years of the decision stated in paragraph (1) of Cabinet decision No. 11, dated 19/01/1429 H., which provides that the state bear 50 percent of levied port charges.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Musaed Al-Hammad as Director General of Mujahedeen at the Ministry of Interior (15th rank); Mansour bin Shalhoub as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Misha’al Al-Otaibi as Director General of Health Affairs in Qassim Province at the Ministry of Health (14th rank).