Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kingdom Urges Arabs to Close Ranks

Arab News —

JEDDAH, 21 August 2007 — Saudi Arabia said yesterday that solving the problems of the Muslim Ummah by promoting stability, security, development and unity is the first priority of the Kingdom’s foreign policy.

“The ability of the Arab countries to counter all challenges faced by them internally, regionally and internationally requires that they take joint action and fulfill their commitments to the decisions and treaties made at summit meetings,” Custodian of the Two Mosques King Abdullah said in his address to the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers.
“They should also have the conviction that the welfare of the Arabs lies in closing their ranks, not splitting away, and making their regional alliances instrumental in fortifying their (Arab) unity instead of making it a tool for division and consequent weakness,” he added.

Following the Council of Ministers’ meeting at the Al-Salam Palace here, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani told the Saudi Press Agency that the Kingdom was making all possible efforts to serve the two Holy Mosques and making necessary arrangements to guarantee the comfort and safety of pilgrims. These efforts include the expansion of the Mas’a (the pathway between Safa and Marwa) and the completion of the upper floors of the Jamrat, in addition to the general development of Makkah, Madinah and other holy sites.

The Cabinet decided to set up an independent government organization for the promotion of the Kingdom’s nonoil exports. The new Saudi Exports Promotion Authority will organize international fairs and undertake the management of the country’s nonoil exports, which is currently supervised by the Department for External Trade under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The body will participate in laying down the government’s policies to promote exports. This includes planning to enhance the competitiveness of Saudi commodities. The body will also take care of developing a favorable environment for exports by providing administrative and technical support, and incentives for exporters besides protecting their investments, the minister said.

Other functions of the new body include increased involvement of Saudis in export-oriented activities and the promotion of a culture of exports in the Kingdom in collaboration with local and international training organizations, the minister said.

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