Saudi Cabinet hails Saudi Arabia’s achievements under Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah

Crown Prince Sultan visits King Abdullah University for Science & Technology

Second Deputy Premier Prince Naif announces 220 criminal attempts thwarted, suspects arrested

Saudi Arabia addresses human rights council regarding women’s rights

1st strategic dialogue meeting in China denounces Israeli attack on aid ships

G20 finance ministers conclude meetings in South Korea’s Busan

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Salam Palace.

At the outset of the session, the Cabinet thanked Allah Almighty for the growing development the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is witnessing under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz in all aspects of life, praising the distinctive progress achieved by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at local and international levels.

The Cabinet stressed that the developmental achievements witnessed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the past five years as well as the Kingdom's distinctive role in international forums and decision making do reflect the wise policy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his keenness to achieve more accomplishments that will serve the country and its citizens. Moreover, these achievements showed King Abdullah's initiatives towards Arab and Islamic issues in addition to his initiatives to serve humanitarian causes and achieve world security and stability.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the contacts, messages and consultations that took place during the last few days with a number of leaders of countries and international organizations on regional and international developments. The King briefed the Cabinet on the telephone call he received from Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; the message he received from France's President Nicolas Sarkozy delivered by the French Minister of Defense Herve Morin; and his meeting with the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations Dr. Ali Abdulsalam Triki.

The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja also said the Cabinet listened to reports on the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers; the second ASEAN-GCC ministerial meeting; and the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of the OIC member states.

The Cabinet pointed to what was issued by these meetings, including the strong condemnation of the Israeli military aggression against the Freedom Flotilla as well as the use of violence against the innocent, and the lift of the Israeli siege on Gaza Strip in accordance with the Security Council-related resolutions. The Cabinet also pointed to what was issued by the Human Rights Council, including the setting-up of an independent fact-finding commission to investigate violations of international law. The Cabinet also pointed to the call by various countries to take clear and strong action in the face of this aggression.

The Cabinet also listened to a report by the Minister of Finance on the outcome of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting held in Busan, South Korea.

Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet then reviewed a number of domestic issues on its agenda and issued the following decisions:

First:

Having reviewed the submission by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources on an appeal by a number of the people of the Centre of Mrat to move away the cement plant project set up in the Centre of Mrat due to its proximity to residential complexes, the Cabinet approved a number of measures including the continuation of the General Presidency of Meteorology and Environment Protection to follow up the plant of the Madinah Cement Company which is set up in the Centre of Mrat; urge the plant to adhere to the requirements and environmental standards; conduct periodic measurements every six months of emissions from the plant by the laboratories qualified by the presidency; make sure that acceptable rates are not exceeded and provide copies of them to the presidential and concerned municipality.

Second:

After consideration of the Shoura Council's resolution No. (8 / 3) dated 03.14.1431, the Cabinet approved the Kingdom's accession to the 'United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property,' according to the text attached to the decision.

A royal decree has been drafted to this effect.

Third:

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance-or his deputy-to discuss with the Bangladeshi side a draft memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Bangladesh in the field of Islamic Affairs and Endowments, sign it in light of the text attached to the decision and then send the signed final version for completion of legal procedures.

Fourth:

Upon review of the submission by the Minister of Higher Education and after consideration of the Shoura Council's resolution No. (4 / 1) dated 07.03.1431, the Cabinet approved a memorandum of scientific and educational cooperation between the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences in the Netherlands signed in Riyadh on 17/05/1430 H. corresponding to 05/12/2009 as is annexed to the decision.

A royal decree has been drafted to this effect.

Fifth:

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Agriculture and Chairman of the General Organization for Grain Silos and Flour Mills-or his deputy- to take the necessary legal procedures for the accession of the Kingdom to the 1995 Grains Trade Convention and then submit the approved version of the Convention to complete the necessary legal procedures.

Sixth:

The Cabinet authorized the President of King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology-or his deputy-to discuss with the Turkish side a draft agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Turkey, sign it in light of the text attached to the decision and then submit the signed final version to complete the legal procedures.

Seventh:

After review of the submission by the President of King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology, and after consideration of the Shoura Council's resolution No. (99/71) dated 9/2/1431 H., the Cabinet approved an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of South Africa signed in the city of Cape Town on 30/2/1430 H. corresponding to 25/2/2009 G. as is annexed to the decision.

A royal decree has been drafted to this effect.

Eighth:

The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:

1- Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Zaid Alshigrood is appointed to the position of ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

2- Dr. Abdulqadir bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Alfentokh is appointed to the position of undersecretary of the ministry for planning and information (rank 15) at the Ministry of Higher Education,

3- Salih bin Mohammed bin Abdullah Alshuryan is appointed to the position of director general of control on the performance of establishments and companies (rank 14) at the General Auditing Bureau.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, paid this afternoon a visit to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thule.

During the visit, the Crown Prince toured the University's facilities and its academic programs and research, contributing to the support of the academic education locally and internationally.

He also toured the University campus during which he was briefed on the educational facilities, library, conference hall and the residential area.

Then, the Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz moved to the administration building at the university, where he was received by Prince Khalid Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Makkah region; Prince Dr. Misha'al bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince; Engineer Nadhmi Al-Nasr, Deputy Chief Executive of the University and senior officials of the university.

Accompanied by a number of princes, the Crown Prince left KAUST amid huge farewell.

Prince Naif Ibn Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior has urged businessmen on promoting cooperation with citizens, especially young people returning home after studying abroad for finding job opportunities.

He also called on the businessmen to forge coordination with relevant ministries to create jobs for new graduates of Saudi universities.

Prince Naif made these remarks during a reception of the Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Ahmad Zaynal Ali Reza held last week. The Minister was accompanied by President of Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry Saleh bin Abdullah Kamel, who is also President of Jeddah's Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the Chamber's male and female members.

'Thanks to the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz and the Crown Prince, our brave security men have foiled more than 220 criminal attempts and arrested the perpetrators and those who supported them, ' said Prince Naif in his speech on the occasion.

He recalled the King's affirmation that 'The First is Religion, then is the Homeland.'

'Thanks to Allah Almighty, we have been able to confront this wicked, unjustified targeting which is rejected by wisdom and religion. How can a citizen be against his homeland and citizens; how can he justifies for himself the killing of the innocent people; and unfortunately, how can a Saudi who is abroad, becomes a bomber and a killer of innocents?' Prince Naif asked.

'Thanks to Allah Almighty and the support of directives of our wise leadership, our brave security men have been able scientifically and practically to confront the deviant group and its crimes.

'However, we should be aware of the fact that we are still targeted by these deviants. So we are proceeding ahead with the same strength and determination to confront them. I do stress that a citizen is always the first security man.' The Prince urged businessmen on cooperating with citizens, especially young people returning home after studying abroad for finding job opportunities and on cooperating with relevant ministries to create jobs for new graduates from Saudi universities.

On his part, Kamel commended Prince Naif for his directives in the achievement of security and safety in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in defeating the deviants.

In Geneva, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stated that during the reign of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi women gained privileges and rights that accelerated the progress of women status.

Delivering the speech of the Kingdom before the Human Rights Council on women's rights, Representative of the Kingdom to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Dr. Abdul Wahab Attar highlighted care given to development of Saudi women skills in the Saudi development plan and said, 'The Kingdom gives rights of the women all the attention.

Islamic law focuses on basic human rights giving women their rights in all affairs of life. Texts and concepts of Islamic law prohibit any violations and oppression directed at women and grant them their rightful place.'

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia's accession to the convention against various forms of discrimination against women and subsequent agreements is evidence of the Kingdom's efforts to create fertile ground for women's work and involvement in the development process taking place in various fields. The kingdom has provided more employment opportunities for women in various fields. Saudi women occupy an important place in the field of education. The numbers of girls in certain stages of education exceed the number of males. Programs for study by females abroad have been implemented bringing the number of Saudi females studying abroad to 25,000 students in various disciplines, he said.

He added that the number of women in the ministries and government facilities have increased and women have gained high places citing for example the appointment of both the first woman in a leading position as Deputy Minister of Education for Girls' Affairs and the director of Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University for Girls, the first public university integrated especially for women, as well as the increased number of women working at the Shoura Council.

On the role of women in the private sector, Ambassador Dr. Attar said that the number of business licenses owned by Saudi women reached 40,000, an increase of 77 per cent than it was a period of years ago, stressing that the kingdom gives women more opportunities in many fields in addition to their participation in the political, economic and others matters.

The Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Meeting of Human Rights Council held in Geneva, Khalid Mohammad Karakutly has stressed that Saudi Arabia pays considerable attention to combating world extreme poverty and food insecurity.

'Such attention was reflected in the contributions and assistance provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for international food agencies', Karakutly said.

Karakutly also said that Saudi Arabia reduced or canceled debts of some of the poorest countries in order to help them in combating extreme poverty.

Karakutly announced the Kingdom's welcome of the report by UN Rapporteur Sepulveda on world extreme poverty.

In the Chinese capital Beijing, the first Joint Ministerial meeting for Strategic Dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council and China was held on June 4.

On the Chinese side, the meeting was chaired by China's Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jieche while Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister of Kuwait, chaired the GCC side in his capacity as holding the rotating presidency of the GCC Foreign ministers council. United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, whose country will hold the next rotating presidency of the GCC, and Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al-Atiyyah, GCC Secretary General, also took part in the meeting on the GCC side.

The two sides agreed that relations between China and the GCC witnessed continuing development in the last few years and achieved fruitful results. They expressed belief that the launch of strategic dialogue mechanism would contribute to enhancing mutual confidence and joint cooperation through consultation and coordination at the international arena between the two parties.

They expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the first strategic dialogue between GCC and China, citing the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the strategic dialogue between the GCC and China.

The second meeting will be held in the United Arab Emirates in the year 2011.

The GCC side expressed thanks to and appreciation of the government and people of China for generous hospitality and good arrangement for this meeting.

Later, the GCC delegation had a meeting with China's Vice President Chi Jinbing. They exchanged views on relations between China and the GCC and reviewed the regional and international issues.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted finance ministers of the Group of 20 as saying on Saturday that the global economy is recovering faster than expected, but the latest financial volatility underscores the need for sounder fiscal health amid euro zone jitters.

In a communiquéأ© issued after a two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bank chiefs, they said one of G20's top priorities is to attain strong, sustainable and balanced growth and pledged to work together to deal with challenges and support the recovery.

The global economy continues to recover faster than anticipated, although at an uneven pace across countries and regions,' the statement said. 'However, the recent volatility in financial markets reminds us that significant challenges remain and underscores the importance of international cooperation.'

'The recent events highlight the importance of sustainable public finances and the need for our countries to put in place credible, growth-friendly measures, to deliver fiscal sustainability, differentiated for and tailored to national circumstances,' it added.

The G20 financial leaders welcomed European policymakers' 'determined' action in response to debt problems in the euro zone including Greece, Portugal and Spain, but called for those countries to make more efforts to improve their fiscal soundness.

'Building on progress to date, we affirmed our commitment to intensify our efforts and to accelerate financial repair and reform. Therefore, we agreed further progress on financial repair is critical to the global economic recovery,' they said.

'This requires greater transparency and further strengthening of banks' balance sheets and better corporate governance of financial firms,' they added. 'We are committed to reaching an agreement expeditiously, with stronger capital and liquidity standards as the core of our reform agenda.'

The finance ministers, meanwhile, renewed commitment on the framework for a strong, sustainable and balanced growth.

'The framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth is a key mechanism by which we will work together to meet the immediate challenges of supporting the global recovery and achieving our medium-term shared framework objectives,' they noted.