King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session

May 31, 2010

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah today. At the outset he described the talks he held last week with several foreign officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The Cabinet condemned a raid carried out today by Israeli forces against a flotilla carrying aid to the Palestinians, which resulted in several deaths, and called upon the international community to take action against Israel’s policy of blockading Gaza.

The Cabinet commended the convening of the Third Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, inaugurated last week in Rio de Janeiro by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva under the theme “Bridging Cultures, Building Peace.” It also expressed pride that the Kingdom will become – in July – the first Arab state to assume the Presidency of the Advisory Committee for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Finally, the Cabinet welcomed the approval by the states participating in the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to hold an international conference in 2012 with the aim of making the Middle East a nuclear weapons-free zone.

Turning to its agenda items, the Cabinet approved an amendment to an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Libya regulating airline flights between the two countries; approved the replacement of the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs by the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs at the Civil Defense Council; approved a memorandum of understanding in the field of technical and vocational training between the Saudi General Organization for Technical and Vocational Training and New Zealand’s International Technical Institutes; approved the Kingdom’s accession to the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space, the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, and the Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies; and approved the structuring of the Saudi Organization for Standardization, Metrology and Quality.

The Cabinet appointed Ali bin Othman Al-Zaid; Mazen Bin Mohammed Batterjee; and Abdullah bin Ali Alsane’ to be members of the board of the Saudi Organization for Standardization, Metrology and Quality for a period of three years, effective immediately. It also approved the appointment of Abdullah Al-Hagbani to the position of Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry for Teachers Affairs at the Ministry of Education (14th rank).