Saudi cabinet hails response by Yemeni government and opposition to Gulf mediation efforts

Cabinet approves Arab strategy for water security in the region

Saudi Arabia calls for pressing Israel to take peace process seriously

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Crown Prince Sultan discuss with Egyptian premier developments in the region

Sharaf says relations with Saudi Arabia historical, Gulf security linked to Egypt’s

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 consultations, discussions and contacts that he made during the past days on the latest developments at Arab arena, including the audience the King held for General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahayyan, Abu Dhabi's Heir Apparent and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates, and the telephone call he received from Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said of Oman.

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 number of reports on the overall developments in a number of brotherly Arab countries and their repercussions, stressing the importance of dealing with the developments to ensure security and stability in all Arab countries and their peoples.

The Cabinet discussed the extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States held in Abu Dhabi with the delegation of the government of Yemen and the opposition parties. The Cabinet valued the responsive cooperation of both the Yemeni government and the opposition parties with the efforts of the GCC countries to reach an agreement that serves the security and stability of the Republic of Yemen.

On the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and the intransigence of the Israeli occupation authorities and the continuing of settlement activities, the Cabinet emphasized what the permanent Arab delegations to the United Nations (UN) have stressed before the Security Council session on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, that the Israeli activities threaten to undermine the entire peace process, and their demand that the Security Council revive the peace process and compel Israel to deal sincerely and seriously with the peace process.

Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet listened to a briefing the Minister of Finance delivered on the Kingdom's participation in the meetings of the Group of Twenty (G-20), the Spring Meetings of the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, stressing that the continued strong performance of the Saudi economy with the support of government investment through large projects on the infrastructure and social sectors led the International Monetary Fund to raise the forecast for economic growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

On the local front, the Minister of Culture and Information pointed out that the Cabinet discussed a number of conferences, meetings and scientific, cultural, medical, economic and technical seminars that took place in various regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the past few days, including the 2nd International Conference and Exhibition on Higher Education in which 372 universities of 50 countries participated.

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

The Cabinet authorized the Foreign Minister - or his deputy - to discuss with the United Nations Development Program the proposed amendments to its Headquarters Agreement and report on the outcome for the completion of the legal procedures.

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Justice - or his deputy - to discuss with ministers of justice of the GCC Member States to include the remarks annexed to the decision on the unified draft law on combating crimes of information technology in the GCC Member States.

The Cabinet approved the final accounts of King Fahd Causeway General Organization for the fiscal year 1430/1431.

The Cabinet approved the Arab Strategy for Water Security in the Arab region to confront future challenges and requirements of sustainable development (2010-2030); however, it should be only consultative and should be reviewed every 5 years. The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Water and Electricity - or his deputy - to sign it in accordance with the text attached to the decision.

The Cabinet approved that the Minister of Culture and Information will set the regulations controlling the sales and prices of the Radio and Television programs after settling these issues with the Minister of Finance.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah received Egypt's Premier Dr. Essam Sharaf.

During the audience, they discussed aspects of cooperation between the two countries and a number of issues of common interest.

The audience was attended by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Secretary General of the National Security Council; Prince Meteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State, Member of the Cabinet and Commander of the National Guard; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Saudi Ambassador to Egypt Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Qattan.

On the Egyptian side, the audience was attended by Fayza Abul-Naga, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation; Dr. Samir Radwan, Minister of Finance; Nabil Al-Arabi, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Egyptian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mahmoud Mohammed Ouf, and a number of senior Egyptian officials.

Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, received at his palace Egypt's Premier Dr. Essam Sharaf.

At the outset of the audience, the Crown Prince welcomed the Egyptian Premier and wished him a good stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Egyptian Premier expressed his thanks to and appreciation of the Crown Prince for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation, emphasizing the depth of relations between the two countries.

During the audience, they discussed aspects of cooperation between the two countries and a number of issues of common interest as well as the latest developments at Arab and regional arenas.

The audience was attended by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Khalid bin Sultan, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs; a number of princes and officials.

On the Egyptian side, the audience was attended by Fayza Abul-Naga, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation; Dr. Samir Radwan, Minister of Finance; Nabil Al-Arabi, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Egyptian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mahmoud Mohammed Ouf, and a number of senior Egyptian officials.

Sharaf said that meetings with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince and the foreign minister were at the highest brotherly level and discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries and regional issues of common interest.

In a press statement this evening, he praised the distinguished relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt and described them as deep-rooted historic relations that resulted in high level relations.

Responding to a question on relations between Egypt and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, he said, 'We are tied with the GCC countries by historic relations and interference in their affairs is a red line.' He stressed that the security of the GCC countries is part of the security of Egypt.

On Egyptian-Iranian rapprochement, he said that this rapprochement aims at opening a new chapter but it stops at the idea of interference in the affairs of countries especially the GCC countries.

The Egyptian Premier expressed thanks to the Saudi government after it released the Egyptian detainees saying that this is not strange considering the brotherly ties binding the two countries.

Meanwhile, Dr. Essam Sharaf denied the existence of a problem between Egypt and the United Arab Emirates that resulted in delaying his visit to it explaining that the visit will take place later and will include Oman and Bahrain.