King Abdullah chairs Cabinet meeting in Jeddah

June 15, 2009

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting today at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah. At the outset of the session, the King briefed the Cabinet on his contacts over the past few days with world leaders, including a telephone call from Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Cabinet listened to a report on swine flu (the H1N1 virus), which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The ministers stressed the importance of concerted regional and international efforts to combat the disease and discussed preparations for containing the spread of the virus during this year’s Hajj season.

The Cabinet also reviewed regional developments, including the Palestinian situation and the latest American efforts to restart the Mideast peace process.

Turning to its agenda, the Cabinet authorized the Foreign Ministry to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom regarding the collection of fingerprint and facial imaging data from visa-seeking Saudis; approved the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) decisions regarding (1) the list of goods exempted from the GCC unified customs tariff and (2) the amended controls for the exemption of industry input from customs duties in GCC countries; approved the creation of the National Committee for Clean Development Mechanisms under the supervision of the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources; extended state financing of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities’ projects; and approved an agreement on the promotion of mutual investments between Saudi Arabia and the Ukraine.

The Cabinet also approved the appointment of Abdulaziz Al-Mazyad to be the Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry for Technical Affairs at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (14th rank) and the appointment of Ibrahim Al-Soqo’oob as the Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry for Radio Affairs at the Ministry of Culture and Information (14th rank).