The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Yamamah Palace here yesterday.
At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the consultations he made with Prime Minister Dr. Essam Sharaf of Egypt and the message he sent to the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, stressing the depth of bilateral relations and the keenness of the two countries on enhancing mutual cooperation in a way that serves their interests in all fields. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques also briefed the Cabinet on the telephone call he received from President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen.
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 reviewed the latest developments at regional and international arenas, emphasizing the Kingdom's firm stances towards them as well as its keenness on achieving security and stability in the region and the world.
The Cabinet was briefed on the outcomes of the 35th Extraordinary Meeting of the Ministerial Council of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States held yesterday in Riyadh to address the latest developments in Yemen. The Cabinet expressed hope that the efforts exerted by the Ministerial Council will result in a final agreement that achieves stability and security in Yemen.
The Cabinet welcomed the Palestinian national reconciliation agreement concluded in Cairo, stressing the importance of unifying Palestinian efforts to achieve the Palestinian people's aspirations of legitimate rights, in the forefront of which the establishment of their independent state.
Dr. Khoja also said that the Cabinet condemned the terrorist attack that took place in Marrakech, killing a number of innocent people, and offered the Kingdom's condolences and sincere sympathy to Morocco's King, government and people as well as the families of the victims. The Cabinet renewed the Kingdom's call for firmly facing the scourge of terrorism which threatens the security and stability of societies.
The Minister of Culture and Information pointed out that the Cabinet addressed a number of local issues, highly appreciating the issuance of the King's order to amend some articles of Printing and Publishing Law. The Cabinet emphasized that the order enhances the values of disinterestedness and credibility of media in the Kingdom and guarantees the rights of all parties in the media field as well as the right of all citizens. The Cabinet also hailed the King's directives to exempt the deceased from the payment of their credits of loans provided by Agricultural Development Fund. The Cabinet considered these directives as an extension of the King's permanent interest in and keenness to respond to citizens' needs and to provide all means for their welfare. The Cabinet also hailed the opening of King Fahd Complex's Forum for the Holy Quran's Most Famous Calligraphists held in Madinah as well as the First Saudi Conference for Orphans Care organized by the Insan Charitable Society for the Care of Orphans in Riyadh.
Dr. Khoja said that the Cabinet reviewed a number of issues on its agenda and issued the following decisions:
The Cabinet approved the accession of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Convention on Road Traffic Vienna, 8 November 1968.
Having reviewed the request of the Minister of Education for approving gradual teaching of English language starting from grade four in public elementary schools as of next academic year (1432/1433), the Cabinet decided the following:
1- Teaching of English language shall start at grade four of the elementary stage (Boys and Girls) and will be a basic subject starting next academic year (1432/1433). The teaching shall be gradual and the teachers should be qualified enough to teach English language as approved by a panel formed by specialists of the Ministry of Education and English-versed individuals of other concerned bodies.
2- The Ministry of Education shall report to the Cabinet on considering teaching of English Language in an early stage (prior to grade four), provided that the Ministry has the necessary preparations and qualified cadres.
The Cabinet approved the renewal of membership to the Board of Directors of Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) of Abdulaziz bin Zaid Al-Quraishi, Mohammed bin Obaid bin Said bin Zaqar, and Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Athel for five years as of 13/03/1432.
The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:
1- Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Al-Sheikh appointed to the post of Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2- Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al-Faar appointed to the post of Director General of the Minister's Office (Rank 14) at the Ministry of Water and Electricity.