RIYADH: The Cabinet on Tuesday strongly condemned the attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais and reaffirmed the Kingdom’s ability to effectively deal with such attacks and their impact.
King Salman, who chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, thanked world leaders and regional and international organizations for expressing solidarity with the Kingdom.
The king said those cowardly attacks not only targeted vital installations of the Kingdom but also pose a threat to global oil supplies and threaten the stability of the global economy.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a phone conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said the attack is a dangerous escalation not only against Saudi Arabia, but also the world.
Johnson praised the wisdom of the Saudi leadership in dealing with the attacks and demanded a firm international stand towards such criminal acts that should not go unpunished, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The crown prince also received a call from French President Emmanuel Macron who reaffirmed his country’s support for the security of the Kingdom. Macron also highlighted the need for the whole world not to show weakness vis-a-vis these attacks, and offered French assistance in their investigation.
Minister of Media Turki Al-Shabanah said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency that the Cabinet called on the international community to confront the perpetrators of such barbaric attacks.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman briefed the Cabinet on the consequences of the attacks on Saudi Aramco oil facilities, which according to preliminary estimates suspended daily production of 5.7 million barrels of crude and 2 billion cubic feet per day production of gas and resulted in the decrease in production of ethane and natural gas liquids by 50 percent.
The Cabinet said these attacks are an extension of threats posed to the freedom of navigation.
The ministers vowed to defend the Kingdom’s vital assets and called on the international community to take tougher measures to prevent such attacks that threaten the region, security of oil supplies and the global economy.
The king also briefed the Cabinet on the telephone call made to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
He reiterated the Kingdom’s condemnation and rejection of the Israeli prime minister’s plans to annex lands from the occupied West Bank.
Al-Shabanah said the Cabinet considered this measure as null and void as a whole and a serious escalation against the Palestinian people and a flagrant violation of the charter of the UN, the principles of the international law, customs, treaties and charters.
The Cabinet called on the international community to shoulder its legal, moral and humanitarian responsibilities to counter Israeli crimes and violations against the Palestinian people.
The Cabinet welcomed the decision taken at the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States held in Jeddah on the invitation of Saudi Arabia. The ministers praised the resolution’s emphasis on the centrality of the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem (Al-Quds) to the Islamic nation, absolute rejection and strong condemnation of the Israeli premier’s statement.
The Cabinet also commended the statement issued by the Council of the Arab League calling on the international community, especially the Security Council, to shoulder its responsibilities to address Israeli actions, which are against the international laws.
The Cabinet authorized the finance minister and chairman of the board of directors of the General Authority for Zakat and Income — or his deputy — to sign a draft agreement between the Kingdom and Lebanon to avoid double taxation, on income taxes, prevent tax evasion.
The Cabinet also authorized the media minister — or his deputy — to discuss with the Ukrainian side a draft memorandum of understanding to cooperate in the field of media.
The Cabinet approved the appointment of Dr. Iman bint Habas Al-Mutairi as the CEO of the National Competitiveness Center.