Saudi cabinet welcomes call for Yemenis to hold dialogue in kingdom to end political crisis

Cabinet urges international community to intervene to stop Israel’s crimes against Palestinian people

Crown Prince Sultan patronizes 6th Saudi technological conference

Saudi Shura Council delegation holds important meetings in Washington with Congressmen, Department of Commerce, national security advisors

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, consultations and contacts that took place during the past days with a number of leaders of brotherly and friendly countries and their envoys on bilateral cooperation and the developments at Islamic, Arab and international arenas.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the message he received from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain as well as the reception he held for U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said the Cabinet listened to a report on the latest developments in a number of Arab countries, emphasizing the importance of concerted efforts to achieve security and stability in all Arab countries and to preserve the unity and security of their peoples.

The Cabinet welcomed the invitation extended by the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States during its 32nd extraordinary meeting, to the government of Yemen and the opposition parties to meet in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The meeting will be held under the umbrella of the GCC Member States in accordance with principles aiming to preserve the unity of Yemen; to achieve its security and stability; and to meet the aspirations of Yemeni people.

The Cabinet also welcomed the statements issued by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Muslim World League (MWL) and the Global Forum for Muslim Scholars and Intellectuals of the MWL which condemned the Iranian interference in the internal affairs of the GCC Member States, describing such interference as spreading discord among GCC citizens, violating faith, and leading to controversy, conflict and weakness of the nation.

The Cabinet reviewed the situation in the Palestinian occupied territories, strongly condemning the escalation of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people, particularly air and ground bombardment of Gaza strip which led to killing and injuring scores of victims.

The Cabinet also expressed strong condemnation of the decision of Israeli government to build hundreds of housing units in Al-Quds.

The Cabinet called upon the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and immediately intervene to exert pressure on Israel to stop its continued crimes, its open war against the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights, and to force Israel to abide by the resolutions of international legitimacy in this regard.

The Cabinet addressed the participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the 'World Forum for Dialogue among Cultures' held in Baku, Kazakhstan.

The Minister of Culture and Information represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Forum where he pointed out that the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for dialogue has made its path to the international community, thinkers and dialogue councils everywhere, noting that the Cabinet emphasized that due to its Islamic standpoint, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia considers itself an essential partner in spreading world peace, drawing the features of a world of stability, security and peace; in addition to respecting the cultures of different nations; and contributing to humanitarian culture.

On the local front, the Minister of Culture and Information pointed out that the Cabinet discussed a number of cultural and tourist activities and functions that will take place in various regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the coming few days, particularly the 26th Janadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture was opened under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and organization of the National Guard.

The Cabinet underscored that the King's patronization of the Festival reflects the keenness of the Kingdom's leadership on supporting the march of culture and creativity in the Kingdom and abroad.

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 and Minister of Interior -or his deputy- to discuss and sign with the Yemeni side a draft agreement in the field of the transfer of convicted persons with deprivation of freedom sentences between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of Yemen.

The Cabinet authorized the President of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy -or his deputy- to discuss and sign with the Chinese side a draft cooperation agreement in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the People's Republic of China.

The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding in the field of Islamic affairs and endowments between the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Guidance and Endowments of the Republic of Sudan, signed in Jeddah Governorate on 25/08/2010.

The Cabinet approved an agreement to avoid double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion with respect to income taxes as well as the annexed draft protocol between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Tunisia, signed in Tunis on 08/07/2010.

The Cabinet approved the law of penalties on the dissemination and disclosure of classified documents and information.

The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:

1- Salem bin Ali bin Mohammed Al-Faar appointed to the post of Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2- Mansur bin Mohammed bin Salem bin Abed Abdullah appointed to the post of Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3- Salih bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al-Hammad appointed to the post of Director General of the Minister's Office (Rank 14) at the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

4- Fahd bin Saad bin Awadh Al-Ruwais appointed to the post of Administrative Advisor (Rank 14) at the Ministry of Culture and Information.

Meanwhile, under the auspices of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation will organize the 6th Saudi Technical Conference and Exhibition on 24 April 2011 at King Fahd Cultural Centre in Riyadh.

More than 25 international researchers and specialists, in addition to Saudi experts in the field of human resources development will take part in the three-day conference. They will highlight the role of technical and vocational training in sustainable economic and social development.

On the other hand, Muslim representative in the United States (US) House of Representatives Keith Ellison who is also representing the Fifth District of Minnesota met a delegation of Shura Council led by Shura Council Member and Chairman of Saudi-American Parliamentary Friendship Committee Eng. Osama bin Mohammed Al-Kurdi.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest and enhancing cooperation in all fields.

Keith Ellison hailed the great efforts exerted by the Custodian of the Two holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of serving Islam and Muslims, lauding also the services and projects by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Muslims to perform Hajj and Umrah rituals easily.

He also praised the reforms and procedures taken by the Saudi government to make the Saudi economy one of the strong economy in the world.

Ellison also added that the visit of Shura Council delegation to United States came within the framework of enhancing cooperation and exchanging experiences.

Meanwhile, the delegation of the Shura Council met a number of members of US House of Representatives.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest and ways of enhancing relations between the Shura Council and the US Congress.

On the other hand, the delegation of the Shura Council led by Eng. Osama Al-Kurdi held an open meeting with the members of US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) attended by Co-Chairman of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council Peter J. Robertson and a number of businessmen.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest particularly in the fields of trade and investment in additions to procedures taken by the Saudi government to support the Saudi investment and economy.

They also reviewed the relations of trade and investment particularly in the field of oil, energy and infrastructure.

The delegation also met a number of members of United States Senate.

During the meeting, they discussed issues of common interest and reviewed the bilateral relations between the countries.

They also discussed enhancing cooperation in all fields and boosting parliamentary relations between the Shura Council and U.S. Congress.

Meanwhile, the delegation of Shura Council led by Eng. Al-Kurdi met a number of officials at U.S. Department of Commerce.

During the meeting, they discussed relations of investment and trade in addition to ways of enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries.

The delegation of Shura Council also visited Institute for Middle East Studies and met a number of intellectuals and opinion leaders in the US Society.

The delegation visited the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

During the visit, the delegation of Shura Council met advisers, political analysts and experts in the field of Strategic Studies.

They exchanged views on latest developments at the international arena particularly in the Middle East.

The Saudi Embassy in the United States held a dinner party in honor of the members the Shura Council delegation.

The dinner party was attended by a number of diplomatic corps and officials at the Saudi Embassy in Washington.