14th February 2005 - Saudi Cabinet Meeting


Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Premier and Commander of the National Guard, chaired the cabinet's weekly session held at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh on Monday.


At the outset of the session, the Crown Prince expressed the Kingdom's appreciation of the efforts exerted by the International Counter-Terrorism Conference recently concluded in Riyadh and its final communiqu: the Riyadh Declaration. More than 50 countries along with a number of international, regional and Arab organizations participated in the Conference. The Declaration expressed its appreciation of the Kingdom for calling for and hosting the Conference . The Crown Prince also praised the spirit of understanding, cooperation and the rapprochement of visions and stands that prevailed over the Conference with regard to the danger of the phenomenon of terrorism and the inevitability of its confrontationism through united, organized and lasting international efforts that respect the principles of the international law.


The Cabinet noted the support for and adoption of the Crown Prince's proposal at the inaugural session of the Conference to set up an International Counter-Terrorism Center and to form a task force to crystallize this proposal which calls for the effective international effort, the collective work and the comprehensive strategic stand in dealing with this phenomenon.


In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Iyad bin Amin Madani, the Minister of Culture and Information, said that the Cabinet emphasized the importance of uniting all the efforts of countries and organizations to implement the Conference's recommendations so that the world community can encircle terrorism, contain its causes, wipe out its resources, and


confront this phenomenon which belongs to no particular religion, country or region and which also threatens peoples' lives at home, their relations, and future.


The Crown Prince then welcomed Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh bin Obaid, the Minister of Education and Dr. Abdulmohsin bin Abdulaziz Al-A'kkas, the Minister of Social Affairs to the Cabinet as new ministers, commending Dr. Fuad bin Abdulsalam Al-Farsi, the Minister of Hajj and Iyad bin Amin Madani, the Minister of Culture and Information for the assumption of their new tasks and wishing them all success.


The Crown Prince also thanked Dr. Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Namla and Dr. Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Rashid for the efforts they had exerted during their terms of office in their respectve ministries.


The Minister of Culture and Information added that the Cabinet strongly condemned the sinful explosion which took place in Beirut today and led to the killing of Lebanon's former Premier Rafiq Al-Hariri and a number of his companions along with the injury of others. The Cabinet offered condolences to the victim's family and the Lebanese people, affirming the Kingdom's absolute rejection of such terrorist acts which target the innocent people and promote the spread of chaos and destruction.


Then the Crown Prince briefed the Cabinet on the contents of talks, messages, contacts, and consultations he had held over the previous days with a number of leaders of Arab and friendly countries on the development of events in the region and the world.


In this regard, the Cabinet was informed of the contents of talks held with Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Shaath on bilateral relations and the development of the situation at the Palestinian arena.


The Minister of Culture and Information told the Saudi Press Agency that the cabinet then reviewed the local items on its agenda and took the following decisions:


The Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs or his deputy was authorized to discuss, draft and sign with the Syrian side a memorandum of understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Arab Republic of Syria in the field of exchange of information on real estate, comprehensive regional planning and Geographical Information System. The final


version will be forwarded for further authentication.


The Cabinet also authorized the Minister of Interior or his deputy to discuss with the Pakistani side a draft project on security cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and sign it before forwarding its final version for further authentication.


The Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy was authorized to sign a draft arrangement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the International Atomic Energy Agency to enforce the guarantees stated by the Nuclear Weapons Non-proliferation Treaty in its 22 June 2000 version and the annexed small quantities protocol. The final version will be forwarded for further


authentication.


Having reviewed the recommendations issued by the 22nd meeting of the ad hoc committee assigned to discuss the issue of unemployment among Saudi nationals and the increase of rates of the foreign labor force, the Cabinet decided that:


- first: all concerned authorities, Saudi universities, and media bodies should provide assistance for the Ministry of Labor as long as it is issuing plans to reduce the rate of issuing visas for new foreign laborers, train Saudis and activate the role of the Saudi private sector.


- second: the ministries of Interior, Labor and Civil Service are compelled, each in its field, to enforce all decisions, instructions, and circulars relating to field inspection and control procedures.


- third: the Ministry of Culture and Information will have to conduct programs, implement plans and put into force the circulars and programs prepared by the Ministry of Labor to launch media campaigns preceding executive measures that the ministry will take in implementing the relevant directives, instructions and circulars.


- fourth: all government bodies should coordinate with the ministries of Labor and Civil Service regarding the procedure of the Saudization of jobs.


- fifth: the condition of Saudization rate should be inserted among provisions and required items to sign contracts with private sector establishments to implement government projects; i.e, no company will be awarded contract with a government organization unless it has fully complied with the Saudization requirements stipulated by the Ministry of Labor.


- sixth: the ministries of Interior, Labor and other concerned authorities should modify the official working hours in the private sector in accordance with labor system.


- seventh: the Ministry of Labor should submit to the cabinet within two years a detailed and comprehensive report on the results of carrying out this decision and the difficulties that might face it, along with a proposal suggesting ways and means of overcoming such difficulties.


The Cabinet approved the appointment of Mohammed bin Salih bin Rashid Aldaham as Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance for Budget and Organization Affairs; Ibrahim bin Abdulakareem bin Abdullah Alshidookhi as Consultant for Water Affairs at the Ministry of Water and Electricity; Abdulrahman bin Abdullah bin Ali Alrais as Deputy Director General of Almujahideen (holy warriors) Department at the Ministry of Interior, and Hamad bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Alsirayye'a as Director General of Educational Information at the Ministry of Education.

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