Saudi leadership discusses with German Chancellor regional, international issues

Merkel: Gulf states share West’s concerns about Iran’s nuke program

Crown Prince Sultan receives Jeddah Chamber of Commerce board, stresses Saudi Arabia’s interest in chamber’s activities

Second Deputy Premier: Everyone is in the service of the nation, citizen is the top security man in the kingdom

Prince Khalid bin Sultan pays fruitful visit to Turkey

No invitation extended for Iranian foreign minister to visit kingdom

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 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the contacts, messages and consultations that took place during the last week with a number of leaders of brotherly countries on horizons of bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international developments. The King briefed the Cabinet on the telephone calls with President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain as well as the messages he received from King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in addition to the his meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri and Bahraini Parliament Speaker Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Zahrani.

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 Cabinet reviewed the developments at Arab, Islamic and international arenas. On the occasion of the 29th anniversary of the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Cabinet expressed the Kingdom's keenness on cooperating with the GCC Members States to achieve more accomplishments and integration in all fields, praising the efforts exerted by the leaders of GCC Members States to achieve all common goals and aspirations of the people of GCC Members States.

The Cabinet commended the recommendations issued at the 115th Session of the GCC Foreign Ministers Meeting concluded in Jeddah. The session discussed important issues concerning the GCC joint action and coordination on regional and international issues. As regards the Iranian nuclear issue, the Cabinet stressed the importance of adhering to what was issued by the Ministerial Council in this regard.

The Cabinet welcomed Dushanbe Declaration issued at the conclusion of the 37th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Declaration condemned terrorism and the phenomenon of Islamophobia and the systemic discrimination against Muslims.

It also called on the international community and the Security Council to shoulder their responsibilities towards the tense situation in the Middle East.

On domestic affairs, Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet valued the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques granting full scholarships to male and female students currently studying at their own expenses in the United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Cabinet also valued the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, approving the increase of the resources of Saudi Industrial Development Fund to SR 30 billion. The Cabinet also praised the King's patronage of the First International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities as well as his patronage of Innovation Exhibition 2010 organized by King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity in cooperation with Saudi Aramco.

The Cabinet addressed the development and steady growth witnessed by public and higher education, reflected in the establishment of universities, the expansion of admission, the comprehensiveness of disciplines, and the continued support for universities to become competitive with international universities. The United Nations Award in Improving the Delivery of Public Services which King Saud University has recently received is the result of this development and growth.

The Minister said the Council, then, continued discussion of its agenda and issued the following decisions:

First:

Having examined the draft executive rules of the Regulation of Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the cabinet approved the Regulation referred to according to the text attached to the decision. The Council also decided to amend the approved pay for those who work in the field of conservation or destruction of narcotic substances, as contained in the text of the decision.

Second:

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs-or his deputy-to sign the (protocol) of establishment of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and the State of Montenegro with a representative (non-resident ambassador) in view of the text attached to the resolution.

Third:

The Cabinet authorized the General President of Youth Welfare-or his deputy-to discuss with the Brazilian side a draft cooperation agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Brazil in the field of sports, and sign it according to the text attached to the decision and then submit the final signed version for completion of legal procedures.

Fourth:

The Cabinet authorized the General President of Youth Welfare- or his deputy-to discuss with the Uzbek side a draft cooperation agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Uzbekistan in the field of sports, and sign it according to the text attached to the decision and then submit the final signed version for completion of legal procedures.

Fifth:

Upon review of the submission of the Minister of Civil Service on the minutes of the committee formed according to Royal Decree No. (7538 / m b) and dated 29/9/1429 H. on the hardship of female graduates of the secondary teachers' institutes who have spent more than fifteen years after graduation without employment, the Cabinet decided the following:

First: Creation of 12600 administrative jobs at the fourth rank for the interest of the Ministry of Education (girls education) to appoint whoever wishes of the graduates of the secondary teachers' institutes who have not yet been appointed. The creation of these jobs at the Ministry of Finance shall be carried over three years with 4200 jobs each year starting the next fiscal year (1432/1433 AH).

Second: The priority of appointment of graduates shall be carried according to seniority of graduation, grade point average, and the percentage of the qualifying certificate. They shall be appointed at their places of residence or places adjacent to thereof according to the needs of each school for administrative jobs.

Third: A committee from the ministries of Civil Service, Finance, and Education shall be formed to complete the procedures of appointing the graduates referred to in item (First).

Sixth:

After consideration of the Shoura Council's resolution No. (1 / 1) dated 7/3/1431 H., the Cabinet decided to approve the agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on the encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments, signed in Minsk on 27/7/1430 H. corresponding to 07/20/2009 according to the text attached to the decision.

A royal decree has been issued to this effect.

Seventh:

After consideration of the Shoura Council's resolution No. (10 / 4), dated 15/03/1431 H., the Cabinet decided to approve the agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Belarus for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of tax evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital, and the accompanying Protocol signed in the city of Minsk on 27/07/1430 H. corresponding to 20/07/2009 according to the two texts attached to the decision.

A royal decree has been issued to this effect.

Eighth:

The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows.

1 - Saad bin Abdullah bin Saad bin Khnain is appointed to the position of education adviser (Rank 15) at the Ministry of Education.

2 - Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Mesnad is appointed to the position of Undersecretary for Cultural Affairs (Rank 15) at the Ministry of Education.

3 - Mutair bin Sughair bin Mubarak al-Khuzaie is appointed to the position of General Director of the Special Office (Rank 14) at the Governorate of Makkah Region.

Meanwhile, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and visiting Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Dr. Angela Merkel held a meeting at the King's palace in Jeddah this evening.

During the meeting, the overall incidents and developments at the regional and international arenas, topped by the peace process in the region and the importance of reaching fair and comprehensive peace according to the international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative were reviewed.

Talks also covered the international economic situation and the world community efforts to achieve its stability in addition to aspects of cooperation between the two countries and ways of enhancing them in all fields in a way that serves the interests of the two countries and peoples.

On the Saudi side, the meeting was attended by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior; Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Region; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Minister of Finance; Abdullah bin Ahmed Zaenal, Minister of Commerce and Economy, and Dr. Osama bin Abdulmajeed Shobokshi, the Saudi Ambassador to Germany.

On the German side, the meeting was attended by Merkel's official delegation.

King Abdullah gave a dinner party at his palace in Jeddah this evening in honor of visiting Chancellor Merkel and the accompanying delegation.

The event was attended by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General; Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior; Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Governor of Makkah Region; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; other princes, ministers, and senior civil and military officials.

King Abdullah had received at his palace in Jeddah Chancellor Merkel and the accompanying delegation.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, was also present at the warm welcome accorded to her.

A number of princes and senior officials also took part in the event. They were Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Mohammed bin Meshari bin Abdulaziz; Prince Mit'eb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Executive Affairs; Prince Dr. Khalid bin Faisal bin Turki, Undersecretary of the National Guard for the Western Sector; Prince Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saud, Advisor to the King; Prince Meshaal bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Jeddah Province; Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs; Prince Abdulaziz bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Chief of General Intelligence for Intelligence Affairs; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Mansour bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; ministers, and senior civil and military officials.

Merkel was accompanied by a high-powered delegation.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, received at his palace in Jeddah the Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, led by Saleh bin Abdullah Kamel who came to greet him.

On behalf of the group, Kamel noted the support of the Crown Prince for the Saudi chambers and his encourage for the private sector to fulfill its national job.

For his part, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz thanked them for coming and extending noble feelings, wishing them every success.

The audience was attended by Prince Dr. Meshaal bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince, and Dr. Musaed Al-Eiban, Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet.

On the other hand, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is also the Chairman of the National Anti-Narcotics Committee, launched the internet site of the committee and chaired a meeting of the committee.

Prince Naif ordered the beginning of preparations for holding a national anti-narcotics conference and called for intensifying anti-narcotics efforts.

Prince Naif has affirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been fighting narcotics in all their forms, which are the worst scourge in the world and in all societies.

In a statement to The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) after presiding over the Committee's 2nd meeting on Saturday evening, Prince Naif said that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud has directed to work hard to eradicate this scourge and to protect the society from its dangers.

The Prince said, 'Our society is being targeted. Unreasonable quantities of hashish and heroin, the worst kinds of narcotics reach the Kingdom in addition to capsules and Captagon and others which reach the Kingdom in disturbing quantities. If there are no purchasers, narcotics would not have reached in these quantities. We are being targeted from various parties for profits and for corrupting our society.''

He called on every member of the families to cooperate with the state and the concerned authorities to protect families from this scourge.

The Prince said 'We must prevent reaching of narcotics to any person, but if these reach him, he should be treated to restore him back to normal life for the society.'

Prince Naif emphasized the necessity that sentences passed by judges should be deterrent for smugglers, recipients and promoters of narcotics in various types, calling on the media for allocating useful awareness programs in this field.

The Prince noted that he discussed with President-General of Youth Welfare and Minister of Social Affairs the issue of establishing clubs everywhere in the provinces of the Kingdom so that the youth pass their leisure times in beneficial ways.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan received at his office in Ankara Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs.

During the meeting, they reviewed issues of common interest between the two countries and ways of strengthening them.

The audience was attended by a number of high-ranking military commanders and officials.

Prince Khalid also met Turkish President Abdullah Gul at the Presidential Palace in Ankara.

During the audience, they reviewed relations between the two countries and ways of strengthening them.

Prince Khalid bin Sultan conveyed to the President the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General.

In turn, the Turkish President extended greetings and appreciation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Crown Prince, hailing the historical and distinguished relations between the two countries.

Meantime, the President Abdullah Gul held at the Presidential Palace a lunch banquet in honor of Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz.

The audience and banquet were attended by the members of the official delegation accompanying Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz.

On the other hand, an official source of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that, on the sidelines of the Islamic Foreign Ministers conference which was held last Tuesday in the Tajikistani capital of Dushanbe, Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has met with Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki upon a request from the latter. During the meeting, matters on the agenda of the conference as well as bilateral relations between the two countries were discussed, the source said.

He added that, during the meeting, no invitation was extended to the Iranian Foreign Minister to visit the Kingdom.

'Previously, it was agreed that he visits the Kingdom but His Excellency regretted in due time', he said.