Saudi Arabia reiterates call on international community to shoulder its responsibilities to achieve just, comprehensive peace

Saudi cabinet condemns Israeli policy of violence, repression in Palestinian territories

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques dedicates first Saudi-made vehicle

Saudi fund for development finances 451 projects in 75 developing countries

Saudi Arabia offers 93 million Saudi rials loan

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, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the cabinet on the content of his talks with the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, lauding the strong relations and mutual cooperation between the two brotherly states and peoples, his meeting with the Commander of the United States Forces in Iraq General Raymond T. Odierno and the Chinese Special Envoy on the Issue of the Middle East Wu Seekeh.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said the cabinet heard reports on events and current developments in the region, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territories reiterating the firm positions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the international community should shoulder responsibilities to achieve just and comprehensive peace that would restore to the Palestinian people their legitimate rights and its condemnation of the policies of violence and repression practiced by the Israeli occupation authorities, including the repeated siege of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, the closure of its doors to worshipers and their seizure of more Palestinian land for the benefit of their settlement projects and Judaizing the occupied city of Alquds.

Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja said the cabinet expressed satisfaction for the welcome by the Third Arab/Turkish Forum, held in Istanbul, of Saudi Arabia's role in promoting dialogue between the followers of religions and prominent cultures expressed by the World Conference on Dialogue in Madrid in July 2008 under the auspices of the Custodian the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, and its full support for the Alliance of Civilizations initiative adopted by the United Nations and the results of the Third Forum of the initiative which was held in Rio de Janeiro recently. The cabinet expressed hope that the outcome of this forum would promote cooperation and mutual understanding between the Arab Group and brotherly Turkey.

The minister said that the cabinet considered a number of matters relating to local issues welcoming the statement by the First World Conference for Teaching the Holy Quran, which was held in Jeddah last week under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and which will, God willing, help in increasing cooperation and integration among institutions teaching the holy book of God and benefiting from the use of modern technologies in Quranic education.

The Minister of Culture and Information said the Council discussed its agenda and issued the following decisions:

First:

Having reviewed the proposal by Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Charity Foundation on exempting the persons with disabilities who fall within the categories of disability approved in the Kingdom of the fees of visa and residence of the driver, the maid and the nurse, the cabinet approved a number of measures including that the State shall bear for the needy handicapped the fees relating to recruitment, exit and return visas and issuance and renewal of residence of the private driver, the servant and the nurse. The decision also called for forming a committee at the Ministry of Social Affairs to establish the necessary controls for that according to what is stated in the decision.

Second:

The Cabinet authorized the Foreign Minister - or his deputy - to discuss with the Lithuanian side a draft agreement on general cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, sign it in light of the text attached to the decision and then send the final signed version for completion of the legal procedures.

Third:

After review of the submission by the Minister of Higher Education and consideration of the Shoura Council's decision No. (14 / 6) dated on 03.28.1431 H., the Cabinet approved the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia and the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of the Republic of Austria for cooperation in the fields of higher education and research signed in the city of Vienna on 03/26/1427 H. corresponding to 24/04/2006 G. according to the text annexed to the decision.

A royal decree to this effect has been prepared.

Fourth:

The Cabinet approved the restructuring of the Board of Directors of Saudi Industrial Development Fund for a period of three years from the date 9/7/1431 H. as follows:

1 - Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Hamidi, Deputy Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as president,

2 - Dr. Tawfig bin Foozan Al-Rabiah, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for Industrial Affairs, as member,

3 - Dr. Ahmed Bin Habib Salah, Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Economy and Planning, as member,

4 - Sultan bin Jamal Shawli, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Mineral Resources, as member, and

5 - Abdullah bin Ibrahim Alaiadi, Assistant Secretary General of the Public Investment Fund, as member.

Fifth:

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Commerce and Industry - or his deputy - to discuss with the British side a draft program of technical cooperation between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Small Enterprises in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and sign it as annexed to the decision within the framework of the Joint Committee between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Sixth:

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Commerce and Industry - or his deputy - to discuss with the Swedish side a draft program of technical cooperation between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Saudi Arabia and the Council for Trade in the Kingdom of Sweden and sign it as attached to the decision within the framework of the Joint Committee between the Kingdom Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Sweden.

Seventh:

Having reviewed the submission by the Minister of Health regarding the record of the committee formed at the Ministry of Health to evaluate the operation of the two homes for the mental illness recuperators, the Cabinet approved a number of measures including the following:

1 - The Ministry of Health shall operate and fully and directly supervise the two homes for mental illness recuperators. The two homes shall belong and be part of the mental illness hospitals.

2 - Establishment of homes for mental illness recuperators shall be expanded in areas of need according to a plan to be prepared by the Ministry of Health.

3 - The headquarters of the homes shall be located in appropriate places to help create a secure environment for mental illness recuperators.

Eighth:

The cabinet approved appointments at the fifteenth and fourteenth ranks as follows:

1 - Eng. Abdelukreem Bin Mohammad Bin Abdulkareem Al-Fawzan is appointed to the job of Undersecretary of the Ministry for Planning and Development (15th rank) at the Ministry of Water and Electricity,

2 - Dr. Hamoud bin Saleh bin Mohammed Alkanaan is appointed to the job of Director of the Centre for Crime Prevention (14th rank) at the Ministry of the Interior, and

3 - Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman bin Ali al-Hasan is appointed to the job of Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs (14th rank) at the Ministry of Justice.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah dedicated the project of the first ever Saudi-made vehicle named Ghazal I, manufactured by King Saud University students and co-financed by the Ministry of Higher Education and others.

During the dedication ceremony held at his palace in Jeddah, the King received the Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khaled Al-Anqari who was accompanied by Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Othman, Rector of King Saud University, the universities undersecretaries and the Ghazal I project team.

In a speech to mark the occasion, Dr. Al-Anqari said the students of King Saud University today present a fruit of the support rendered by the monarch after two years of strenuous effort to produce this project.

He said King Saud University is, according to Shanghai International Classification, considered the only Arab university among the best 500 universities in the world.

For his part, Dr. Al-Othman said during the current prosperous era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques the number of universities jumped from eight to 33 scattering over 89 provinces of the Kingdom. He pointed to the establishment of King Abdullah University for Science and Technology; the scholarships offered to more than 80,000 Saudi male and female students abroad; and to the establishment of King Abdullah Institute for Nano Technology, financed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hussein bin Ali Al-Amoudi.

He said KSU occupied the first place at the Arab and Islamic universities level according to Times classification and the Spanish classification and won the United Nations Prize for Improving the provision of public services, including electronic education environment development.

He explained that today's car is solely produced by a specialized scientific team at the Faculty of Engineering at KSU and paves the way for the country to become knowledge producer.

Then the King was briefed on the production phases of the car.

He decorated Al-Amoudi with King Saud University Sash from the Excellent Degree and the university's Gold Medal.

The event was attended by Prince Mit'eb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Commander of the National Guard for Executive Affairs; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the King; Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and a number of officials.

On the other hand, Lebanon's Minister of Finance Raya Al-Hasan received the Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Ali bin Saeed bin Awadh Assiri who delivered a letter from the Saudi Development Fund expressing its approval to provide a new loan to Lebanon to finance the Tripoli Branch of the Lebanese University Colleges building project.

In a statement, the Saudi embassy in Beirut said the loan worth SR93,750,000 comes with the assistance provided by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia upon directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Lebanon.

For her part, the minister expressed thanks of the Lebanese side for this generous offer.