King Abdullah chairs Cabinet’s weekly meeting

August 24, 2009

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz began the Cabinet meeting at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah today by welcoming the start of the holy month of Ramadan and calling on all Muslims to practice their religion’s values of fraternity, tolerance and self-accountability. The King then reviewed his latest contacts with world leaders and their envoys.

The Cabinet praised King Abdullah’s approval of the establishment of four new universities in Dammam, Al-Kharj, Shaqra and Al-Majmaa. The Cabinet then listened to a briefing by Second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz on the situation in Al-Eis, where several tremors and aftershocks have struck over the past few weeks. According to Prince Nayef, residents have returned to their homes following strenuous efforts by authorities to provide assistance.

The Council also listened to a presentation by the Minister of Finance regarding the 2009 Article IV Consultation Report completed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The report found that in recent years, Saudi Arabia has consolidated its macroeconomic position, strengthened its financial sector, and implemented structural reforms to boost private-sector led growth. The Cabinet confirmed that the Kingdom is continuing to implement policies that will further strengthen the Saudi economy and promote confidence in its ability to withstand the current global financial crisis.

Finally, the Cabinet praised the achievements of the Saudi security services, which succeeded in arresting forty-four terrorists during a recent operation.

After reviewing its agenda, the Cabinet approved an agreement on security cooperation with Germany, which was signed in Riyadh on 5/27/2009; authorized the Minister of Health to sign a draft memorandum of understanding on health cooperation with Qatar; authorized the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to sign a draft agreement on cooperation in the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy with France; approved the addition of the phrase “A fee (10 percent) shall be collected from the just value when the ownership is transferred by means other than the sale, except in cases of inheritance, legacy, endowment, gift, waiver of property free of charge for one first-degree relatives or donation to charities” to the end of article (1) of the Cabinet’s decision No. (149) dated 25/11/1377 H; and approved the continuation of paragraphs (1, 2) of the Cabinet’s decision No. (7) dated 01/01/1422 H. as regards allowing the import of Palestinian products.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Fahd Al-Rajeh as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mowaffaq Hafez as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Shihri as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Abdulaziz Al-Miqbel as Director General of Administration and Financial Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.