Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques asserts National Day celebrations sustain national unity

Saudi cabinet decides setting up Saudi quality society

Second Deputy Premier Prince Naif says 220 terrorist operations targeting nation were foiled

Saudi Arabia urges UN to confine the right to veto to 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council

Saudi Arabia condemns Israel’s intransigence, hails freedom flotilla fact-finding commission’s report

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Chaired a session of the Cabinet this week.

At the beginning of the session, the King expressed gratitude to Almighty Allah for the blessings Allah Almighty heaped on this country, headed by embracing the Book of Allah and following the Prophet's tradition (Sunnah), and the rapid development since its inception by King Abdulaziz and his devoted sons until it has become, grace to Allah, the focus of the international community; now the country enjoys various social and cultural achievements, advancements and growth in all arenas while still preserving its values and unwavering beliefs. It further enjoys distinct relations with various states, based on mutual respect and work to secure world community's stability and security.

The King asserted that the celebration of the 81st National Day of the Kingdom is a reminder of the endeavors of devote men who worked for the security and stability of the motherland, and is also an embodiment of the national unity, a preservation of what has been achieved, and a dedication of sincere efforts aiming at realizing more distinction of the Saudi role and the Kingdom's status on Islamic, Arab and international arenas.

Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on meetings, consultations and contacts he made during the previous days with a number of friendly and brotherly states' leaders on the current world events and the Saudi stance towards them.

Minister of Culture and Information Abdulaziz bin Muhiedine Khoja explained in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) after the session that the Cabinet reviewed a number of domestic issues, noting with appreciation the King’s order to establish a foundation bearing his name as the World Foundation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz for Charitable and Humanitarian Works, stressing that its statutes specify its purposes as the bringing about of the goals and noble ends the King has always adopted, which emanate from the principles of Islam and urge mutual reciprocity among Muslims, extend cooperation ties and joining ranks. Such high goals translate (may his efforts receive the grace of Allah) his willingness to serve the faith, motherland, people and the Arab and Islamic nations, to whom he belongs, and humanity at large.

The Cabinet hailed King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz's Project of Zamzam the King inaugurated in Makkah in the last 10 days of Ramadan at his personal cost, a project meant to ensure the purity of the water of Zamzam Well by means modern technologies and automatic packaging and distribution; the project’s cost stands at SR 700 millions, and is surely one of the most important projects that serve the Two Holy Mosques and those who visit them.

Minister of Culture and Information explained that the Cabinet listened, in fall with a noble directive, to a brief on a summary of the 46th report of Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), which reviews the recent economic developments in the Kingdom in 2009 and the first quarter of the current year.

On another issue, the Cabinet congratulated all students, males and females, in all stages of education, Kingdom wide, for the beginning of the new academic year, and supplicated to Allah that He may bless the efforts of educationists in their various work-places and in their different capacities, and that Allah may guide them to success in their new academic year, and that He may enrich this year with goodness and bliss.

Later on, the Minister pointed out that the Cabinet listened to a number of reports on various issues relating to world events.

In this respect the Cabinet lauded the contents of the final act of the 7th meeting of Iraq neighborhood's ministers of interior that took place in Bahrain, and the resolutions issued by the 134th session of Arab League Council at the foreign ministers level.

As regards the United Nations 65th session of the General Assembly, the Cabinet renewed the Kingdom's assertion that the top level summit conference on realizing the goals of Development Millennium, which began within the session, constitutes an opportunity to review and boost both national and international efforts in order to achieve these goals anticipated by the international community, particularly as time draws close to 2015, a deadline year set to achieve the goals of Development Millennium. On this issue, the Kingdom's strategy in bringing about these goals stresses sustainable developments and comprehensive Saudi development discourse, a fact that has been translated into policies and development plans, he said.

The Kingdom has managed, with God grace, to achieve most of the Development Millennium targets before its deadline set at 2015, and thus, contributed to the tenets of world development partnership on the international stage.

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

After reviewing the minutes of the Ministerial Committee for Administrative Organization studying the organizational aspects of a draft regulation of the Saudi Quality Council, the Cabinet approved a number of procedures including the establishment of a non-governmental organization named 'Saudi Society for Quality' and is supervised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This Society aims at spreading the culture and concepts of quality; encouraging their application in both government and private sectors; and contributing to the improvement of the quality of services, products and information.

The Cabinet approved a draft agreement on general cooperation between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Zambia signed in Riyadh on 09/02/2010.

The Cabinet authorized the Foreign Minister-or his deputy-to discuss and sign with the Djiboutian side a draft agreement on general cooperation between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Djibouti.

The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding on educational and scientific cooperation between the Ministry of Higher Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Argentina signed in Buenos Aires on 15/02/2010.

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Finance-or his deputy-to sign a draft agreement and the attached draft protocol regarding avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion in respect to income taxes between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Finance-or his deputy-to sign a draft agreement and the attached draft protocol regarding avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion in respect to income taxes between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of Japan.

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Agriculture-or his deputy-to discuss and sign with the Philippine side a draft agreement on technical cooperation in the field of agriculture and fisheries between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, and Kazakhstan's Minister of Interior Sirik Vymganpitov, held talks at Jeddah Conferences Palace.

At the outset of the meeting, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz welcomed the Kazakhstani senior guest and his accompanying delegation, wishing them a good stay in the Kingdom.

He lauded the instructions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the President of Kazakhstan Noor Sultan Nizar Bayev to further bolster bilateral relations between the two countries.

He explained the intellectual origins of terrorism, its goals and means, vowing that Saudi Arabia is able to crush them and stressing the need for international cooperation to get the financial and logistic upstream of terror depleted. In particular, he called on the United States and the European Union countries to work hard for wiping out the bases of terror.

He added that Saudi Arabia has opened doors of cooperation with all the peace-loving world to work against terrorism.

Giving a brief account on terror war in the Kingdom, the Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior said Saudi Arabia was subject to around ten terror operations while its security authorities foiled more than 220 attempts and arrested their masterminds.

In this regard, he expressed readiness of the Kingdom to cooperate with Kazakhstan in the benefit of their two peoples and countries.

For his part, Kazakhstan's Minister of Interior thanked the Kingdom's government and people for warm welcome and generous hospitality, vowing that his country would show more than expected cooperation with the Kingdom in all fields.

Then issues of mutual concern between the two countries were discussed.

The talks were attended by the Saudi and Kazakhstani official delegations.

Later, prince Naif bin Abdulaziz and the Kazakhstani senior guest signed an agreement between the two countries on fighting terrorism, organized crime, illegal drugs and mental effects trade.

Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Interior, Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs, other senior Saudi officials and the Kazakhstan's accompanying delegation were present at the agreement signing ceremony.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has stressed that the strengthening and activation of cooperation between member states of the United Nations and international organizations and regional agencies to confront the phenomenon of terrorism, will contribute to dealing with terrorists and their plans which are in contravention of all the teachings of the divine religions which call for tolerance, peace, respect , and prohibit the killings of the innocent people.

These remarks were made in the Kingdom's speech delivered by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is heading the Saudi Delegation to the 65th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, currently held in New York.

Following is the speech of Prince Saud Al-Faisal at the session:

'Mr. President,

I have pleasure in expressing to Your Excellency my sincere congratulations on your election as President of this sixty-fifth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Your election was a token of esteem not only for you personally but also for the positive role that your country Switzerland is playing at the international level. I am fully confident that your presidency of this session will make an effective contribution to the achievement of the goals that the international community is pursuing under the present international circumstances.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude and appreciation to your predecessor, H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, who directed its work in such a wise, objective and commendable manner.

I also have pleasure in reaffirming my appreciation for the continued efforts of H.E. the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, in directing the work of this international Organization and promoting its message aimed at achieving peace and security in our contemporary world which is still suffering from numerous types of conflicts, challenges and crises.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is proud to have been among the signatories, at San Francisco, of the Charter under which the United Nations was established. My country believes in the importance of full universal commitment to the fundamental principles and noble purposes of the United Nations for which that Charter was drawn up, including the regulation of relations between States, the maintenance of international peace and security, respect for the principles of international law and international legitimacy, and rejection of all forms and manifestations of violence and extremism. These noble purposes and lofty goals are fully in keeping with the magnanimous Islamic Shari'a, since the eternal message of Islam is unifying and non-divisive, just and equitable, egalitarian and non-discriminatory, and advocates cooperation among all the peoples of the world in order to further their welfare and happiness and safeguard their rights and dignity.

Accordingly, the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, emphasizes the need to put the principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations into actual and effective practice in a non-selective manner and without any double standards. My country's Government is also aware of the need to modernize and develop the United Nations and its organs so that they can play the role required of them.

The desired reform is achievable by giving the General Assembly a basic role, comparable to that played by the Security Council, in the maintenance of international peace and security. We also need to ensure that this goes hand in hand with an earnest and credible approach in which the principles of international legitimacy, the provisions of international law and the requirements of international justice are respected. The important reforms in this field include restriction of the use of the right of veto by requiring the Permanent Members to undertake not to avail themselves of this right in order to veto measures designed to ensure the implementation of resolutions previously adopted by the Security Council. There is also a need to strengthen the role of the Economic and Social Council and ensure closer coordination among United Nations funds, programs and activities.

Mr. President,

We were deeply grieved to learn of the disastrous floods that have afflicted our brothers in Pakistan, where hundreds of thousands have been made homeless when their homes were destroyed, their farms washed away and their villages inundated. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, will spare no effort in assisting the victims of the disaster, providing relief and mitigating the plight of the needy, and will continue to dispatch financial and in-kind assistance, field hospitals and land and air rescue and first-aid teams, in confirmation and continuation of my country's commitment to play its humanitarian role in assisting States afflicted by natural or man-made disasters, including wars and armed conflicts. The contributions that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is making, either directly or through specialized international organizations, in the field of emergency relief are well known. In this connection, I would like to appeal to everyone to do their utmost to ensure that the entire international community makes a concerted effort to provide assistance and relief, in an urgent and effective manner, for all victims of disasters and wars in such a way as to affirm the unity, cooperation and solidarity of mankind in the face of catastrophes and adversities.

Mr. President,

The Middle East problem persists to be one of the largest obstacles to World peace and security. In fact, Israeli occupation seems to remain as the only colonial polity after the decline of colonialism and the end of policies of ethnic discrimination.

All the Arab countries, acting through the League of Arab States, have supported all the initiatives and endeavors aimed at achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, from the Madrid Conference to the present day.

They have consistently and repeatedly declared their commitment to peace as a strategic option. In fact, more than ten years ago, they presented a comprehensive peace plan, the substance of which was wholly based on the principles of international law and United Nations resolutions. The Arab Peace Initiative guarantees the right of all States to live in peace and security, and lays the foundations for a normalization of relations between all the Arab States, including the independent Palestinian State, and Israel.

My country played an active and effective role in supporting the peace process throughout this period, participated in all the international peace conferences and presented the Arab Peace Initiative which was adopted not only by the Arab States but also by the Islamic States as a whole and was supported by almost all the countries of the world. Accordingly, the Arab countries hope that the direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis will achieve their objectives in light of the invitation of the international Quartet which affirmed the terms of reference on which there is an international consensus.

The moment of truth has come and the crossroads are clearly and plainly visible to us all. This was eloquently expressed by the American President Barak Obama when he said that the window for a two-state solution may be closing soon. The consequences of failure this time are too catastrophic to imagine.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its sister member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council attach great importance to relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. We are hoping to resolve all the existing problems between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Arab Emirates, and particularly the issue of the three UAE islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs, by peaceful means in accordance with the principles of international law, including acceptance of the option of referring the issue to the International Court of Justice.

Mr. President,

The Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is giving close attention to the endeavors aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals and is focusing on poverty reduction and efforts to eliminate the infectious diseases that are unremittingly taking a heavy toll of human life. In this regard, the Kingdom calls upon States to honor their pledges within the limits of their capabilities and help to meet the other goals set by the United Nations before the year 2015.

We all hope that the Government of Israel will take this valuable opportunity to respond, albeit belatedly, to the Arab overtures for peace and to the international consensus based on the necessity of applying the two-State solution in order to put an end to this sanguinary conflict that has been constantly threatening international peace and security for the last six decades. To this end, Israel merely needs to restore the rights that have been usurped and undertake to abide, like other countries of the world, by the principles of international law and United Nations resolutions, including a complete end to all settlement activities which aim to change facts on the ground and thus jeopardize the peace process and render the negotiations meaningless.

Mr. President,

Protection of human rights, the rule of law, dissemination of a culture of peace and initiatives to promote dialogue among cultures and peoples constitute basic components of any effective strategy to combat terrorism and extremism and of any fruitful endeavor to prevent the outbreak of wars and conflicts which have long caused untold bloodshed and inflicted countless tragedies and calamities on mankind.

Needless to say, respect for United Nations resolutions and the principles of international law is the only way to resolve chronic international conflicts and defuse focal points of tension, thereby preventing terrorists from exploiting feelings of despair and frustration brought about by subjection to injustice, aggression and occupation.

For these noble purposes, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz AI Saud, launched his sincere universal appeal for the pursuit of dialogue among all followers of the religions and cultures constituting the heritage of mankind. This initiative gained the support of our General Assembly in its High Level Meeting on Promoting Dialogue and Peace during its sixty third session. Diligent endeavors are currently being made to establish a global centre for dialogue, comprising representatives of all the main religions, which will operate in a fully independent and non-politicized manner.

Mr. President,

Closer and more effective counter-terrorism cooperation among member States of the United Nations and between international organizations and regional agencies would help to thwart the schemes of terrorists, which cannot be justified or associated with a particular ethnicity, religion or culture since they run counter to the teachings of all the divinely-revealed religions which advocate tolerance, peace and mutual respect and prohibit the killing of innocent people.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has made numerous contributions in the field of counter-terrorism in order to further the endeavors being made to combat this dangerous phenomenon. The International Counter-Terrorism Conference held in the city of Riyadh in February 2005 was attended by experts and specialists from more than 60 States and international and regional organizations. The 'Riyadh Declaration', which was issued by the Conference, affirmed the unanimous international resolve to oppose terrorism. and extremism and adopted the proposal of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz AI Saud, for the establishment of an international counter-terrorism centre under United Nations auspices. This proposal was likewise endorsed by numerous international declarations such as those issued by the Summit of Arab States, the Summit of States Members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Arab-Latin American Summit and the States Members of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Kingdom has established rehabilitation centers in which persons detained on charges of terrorism and returnees from the Guantanamo detention centre receive counseling with a view to their reintegration in society and are also provided with financial assistance and vocational training so that they can find employment. In this connection, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be most willing to share its expertise in the field of such rehabilitation programs with any other States wishing to benefit from them.

Mr. President,

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia shares the concern of the international community about proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Gulf region, especially nuclear weapons. With regard to the Iranian nuclear program, Saudi Arabia emphasizes the importance of reaching peaceful solutions, and supports the efforts of the 5+1 group in this direction which preserves the rights of Iran and the states of the region to the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy in accordance with the safeguards and standards of the International Nuclear Energy Agency. We call on Iran to respond positively to these efforts which will end the crisis and dispel international doubts about its nuclear program.

However, the real key to a final and effective resolution of the problem of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle Eastern region, which has long suffered from the scourge of wars in which all types of lethal weapons have been used, lies in the transformation of the Middle East, including Israel, into a zone free from all weapons of mass destruction.

My country's Government is deeply disturbed by Israel's refusal to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as a result of which Israel's nuclear programs, being outside the scope of international control, pose a grave threat to the region's security and stability and reinforce the prevailing impression that the international endeavors made in this regard lack credibility and cannot be taken seriously since they are tainted by double standards and selectivity.

My country's Islamic values and Arab traditions prohibit it from talking in details about its assistance to others around the World. Suffice it to say that Saudi Arabia is a major donor and partner in international development. It is participating, in a highly responsible and active manner, in the Friends of Yemen, Friends of Pakistan and Friends of Afghanistan Groups, and in all the international initiatives aimed at assisting the most needy States. Between 1973 and 2009, my country gave more than 99.75 billion dollars in assistance to more than 95 different states. As a percentage of GDP, our help to developing nations was more than double the percentage targeted by the United Nations. Our assistance took many forms including donations, soft loans and relief assistance. The Kingdom donated US$ 1 billion to the Fund to Combat Poverty in the Islamic World, in addition to 6 billion dollars in debt relief. Saudi Arabia contributes to the capital of 18 international financial bodies and institutions.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia renews its appeal to the industrialized developed countries to honor their commitments in regard to direct aid quotas, debt relief in favor of the most needy countries and market access, without unjustifiable restrictions, for the exports of developing countries.

Thank you.'