Crown Prince Sultan briefs cabinet on outcome of Saudi-Yemeni Coordination Council meetings

Cabinet condemns Israeli policemen’s storming of Aqsa mosque precincts, Israel’s annexation of Ibrahimi, Bilal mosques

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques approves higher education ministry’s decisions

Saudi Arabia delivers keynote speech at human rights council in Geneva

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

At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the talks, meetings and consultations that took place during the past few days with a number of leaders of brotherly and friendly countries and their envoys, including the talks he held with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Prime Minister Ali Mujawwar. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques praised the depth of brotherly relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen as well as their keenness on promoting and enhancing further these relations.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the talks he held with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, commending the development of relations between the two countries as well as the outcome of the visit which led to the signing several agreements and memoranda of cooperation between the two countries, thereby reflecting a new era of strategic partnership between the two countries.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said that the Cabinet listened to a brief by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, on the outcomes of the 19th session of the Saudi-Yemeni Coordination Council.

The Cabinet stressed that the results of the 19th session of the Council reflect the keenness of the two countries on consolidating their relations in a way that serves the common interests of both brotherly peoples in all fields.

Dr. Khoja also said that the Cabinet listened to a brief by Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister on the results of the 2nd session of the Saudi-Qatari Coordination Council.

On domestic affairs, Dr. Khoja said that the Cabinet addressed the overall developments and events at Arab, Islamic and international arenas, particularly the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Cabinet condemned the Israeli police and border guards for storming Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and clashing with the worshippers.

The Cabinet also condemned the decision of the Israeli authorities to annex Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil and Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Bethlehem to the list of Israeli archaeological sites. Also, the Cabinet condemned the continued excavations Israeli occupation authorities have been carrying out under the walls of occupied Al-Quds, stressing that these practices constitute a serious provocation to the feelings of Muslims all over the world.

The Cabinet urged the international community to stand firm against these practices and compel Israel to abandon these practices and the policy of annexing Palestinian land by force, ignoring the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and defying the will of the international community which seeks to implement t peace and stability in the region.

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

The Cabinet authorized the Second Deputy Premier, Interior Minister (or his deputy) to discuss and sign with the Turkish side a draft cooperation agreement which helps in penal cases between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Turkey.

The Cabinet approved the renewal of the 'Protocol of Security Cooperation among the governments of neighboring countries of Iraq and the government of the Republic of Iraq on fighting terrorism, infiltration and organized crime' approved by Royal Decree No. (M/31) dated 29/03/1428H. for a period of three years.

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Higher Education (or his deputy) to discuss and sign with the Turkish side a draft memorandum of scientific and educational cooperation between the Ministry of Higher Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Council for Higher Education of Turkey.

The Cabinet approved a number of decisions pertaining to checks rejected as a result of no sufficient balance.

The Cabinet approved enforcing the decision of the Committee on Financial and Economic Cooperation issued during its 80th meeting held in Muscat, Oman on 30/05/2009. The decision states the addition of item (30067000) to the list of goods exempted from tariff of the Gulf Cooperation Council States.

The item is gel preparations designed to be used in human or veterinary medicine as a lubricant for parts of the body for surgical operations or physical examinations, or as a coupling agent between the body and medical instruments.

The Cabinet approved enforcing the decision of the Committee on Financial and Economic Cooperation issued during its 80th meeting held in Muscat, Oman on 30/05/2009. The decision states the exception of sub-item (84864099) from the list of goods exempted from tariffs, issued by the Cabinet decision No. (207) dated 22/06/1430H.

The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:

1- Ahmad bin Fahd bin Mark Al-Mark as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2- Ahmad bin Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al-Melhem as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3- Eng. Mohammed bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al-Rajhi as Assistant Undersecretary for Survey and Lands (Rank 14) at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.

Meanwhile, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is the Premier and Chairman of Council of Higher Education has approved a number of decisions taken by the Council in its 58th session.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari pointed out that the Council approved the recommendations of the delegation headed by him which visited China; the establishment of an international advisory body to King Abdulaziz University; the creation of associated deanships and research centers in some universities; establishment of some departments at various colleges, as well as appointment of a number of members of teaching staff or Vice rectors of some universities, and the extension of services of 79 members of teaching staff in some universities.

He thanked the King, the Crown Prince and Second Deputy Premier for supporting higher education.

In Geneva, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirmed that the protection and promotion of human rights is considered a strategic option according to its Islamic approach and that what has been achieved by the Kingdom in this regard is part of what should be done in future.

This came in an address by Chairman of Human Rights Commission in the Kingdom Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Aiban before the 13th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

He said the Kingdom has laid the foundation for dialogue among followers of different religions and cultures and pushed it from a domestic approach to a global one, citing the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for dialogue among followers of different religions, cultures and civilizations.

Al-Aiban said the Kingdom has launched a four-year program, starting 2010, to promote the culture of human rights among the state and private sectors in the Kingdom.

Within its drive to fight human trading, the Kingdom has recently formed a standing committee, as part of the Human Rights Commission, to follow-up the situations of victims of human trading, he added.

He said the Kingdom has contributed to several international programs and initiatives to help reduce the negative impacts of the current international financial crisis, citing its waiver of more than $6 billion debts against less developed countries, donation of $30 million for the initiative of wiping out world-wide infantile paralysis and most recently, the appropriation of $1 billion for enhancing development in neighboring Yemen.

In brief, he said, the Kingdom has provided more than $90 billion irretrievable loans over the last three decades, benefiting 87 developing countries, representing 4% of its gross national product.

Al-Aiban pointed to the continuation of Israel's violation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, calling on the world community to do what could stop that practice.

He also called for adopting the UN Human Rights Council's Judge Goldstone's report on the non-human violations of Israel against Palestinians.