The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet's session at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh on Monday afternoon.
At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on his meeting with former King Juan Carlos of Kingdom of Spain.
The Cabinet welcomed the leaders of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States in their summit at 36th session scheduled to be held in Riyadh, commending the GCC states' achievements and development at coordination and integration level, praying to Allah Almighty that the meetings of the leaders contribute to greater achievements and common GCC actions to meet the aspirations and hopes of the peoples of the GCC states.
The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session that the Cabinet reviewed the latest developments in the region and the world, and the results of regional and international meetings and consultations on them, highlighting the Kingdom's emphasis in the Conference of States Parties to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at its 20th session in The Hague on the importance of implementation of Chemical Weapons Convention, conventions on the prohibition and legalization of hazardous materials and the promotion of international cooperation to protect them; as the Kingdom was one of the first countries which joined the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Prevention of their Proliferation, as well as the Kingdom's welcome of the United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 2235 in 2015 on the formation of a joint committee between the Organization and the United Nations to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and confirming the terms of Security Council resolution No. 2209 in 2015, which condemned the use of chemical materials in Syria and stressed the need for the involved parties not to use, develop, produce, retain or transfer chemical weapons.
The Cabinet reconfirmed the Kingdom's call in 21st Conference of the States Parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris on the importance of working together to launch the initiative for research and studies of clean energy (technical innovation), encourage support for investments and increase them in these areas as well as the participation of the public and private sector, exchange of experiences, cooperation to build capacity for innovation all over the world to improve the standards of living at the international level and enhance the ambition at the local level to achieve clean energy objectives with the passage of time.
The Minister explained that the Cabinet lauded the statement issued following the convening of the Saudi Egyptian Coordination Council in Riyadh, co-chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, who is also Chairman of the Economic and Development Council, and Egypt's Prime Minister Engineer Sharif Ismail including the formation of working teams to support the Council to complete reviewing initiatives, draft agreements, memorandums of understanding and executive programs emanating from Cairo Declaration, provided that the current joint committees would finish their duties and programs within the prescribed timetable.
The Cabinet was briefed on the results of the participation of King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid in the 6th annual conference on effective partnership and exchange of information entitled 'For a Better Humanitarian Action' held in Kuwait, and what has been provided by the center in the field of relief and humanitarian programs and works in Yemen, transport of the stranded and solving the problem of those displaced in Yemen.
The Minister said the Cabinet lauded the Kingdom's keenness on solving the Syrian crisis politically and its welcoming of the Vienna II group request to host a conference in Riyadh for Syrian opposition. The Cabinet also welcomed the Kingdom's invitation to moderate Syrian factions who represent its different ethnical, sectarian and political segments, currents, and factions inside and outside Syria to take part in an expanded meeting in Riyadh, nominated by most of the effective international parties and the UN envoy to Syria so that the Syrian opposition could hold negotiations independently and come with a unified position according to the agreed-upon Geneva I declaration.
The Cabinet denounced the terrorist explosion targeting the Governor of Aden, describing the act as an addition to the series of terrorist crimes committed against Yemen and Yemeni sisterly people, confirming the Kingdom's keenness that the Yemeni people deserve to enjoy more and more security and stability.
The Cabinet also denounced the terrorist attack inside a social service institution in the city of St Bernardino in California, U.S.A., killing and injuring a number of innocents, calling for concerted international effort to fight this serious plague which never receives the approval of any divine religion,
national norms or international charters and help the world community get rid of its evils.
On domestic issues, the Cabinet lauded the approval of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to launch King Salman Program for Human Resources Development aiming at boosting the quality of performance and productivity of government personnel, developing the labor environment, putting clear policies and measures to implement the concept of human resources and qualifying and making-ready second row civil service leaders.
The Cabinet reviewed a report on the preparedness of the municipal community, led by the high committee and local sub-committees to hold the forthcoming municipal elections througout the country.
Dr. Adel bin Zaid Al-Toraifi said the Cabinet was, then, briefed on a number of reports and results of conferences and symposia held in the Kingdom over the last seven days.
The Cabinet discussed the issues on its agenda, including some which were studied by the Shura Council and was briefed on the outcomes of each of the Cabinet's General Committee and the Experts Bureau.
Accordingly, the Cabinet concluded the following:
After having reviewed a study on the continuing depletion of fodder-irrigation-oriented water, the Cabinet instructed the suspension of growing green fodder for no more than three years. The Ministry of Agriculture is assigned to conduct a comprehensive study that draws the suspension zone together with the detailed rules that guarantee compliance, by the concerned, including the control mechanisms, the concerned authorities, the penalties to be enforced on violators of that rule, the provision of appropriate alternatives that guarantee evading the negative impact of the suspension on cattle herders and the provision of moderate-priced fodder, provided that the Ministry forwards the outcomes of the study to the King within no more than 90 days.
The Cabinet amended Paragraph (I) of Article First of penalties to be imposed on violators of agricultural Quarantine law for GCC states, approved by a Royal Decree No. (M/9) dated 27/2/1426 H.
Third: After reviewing the report of Ministry of Social Affairs and the decision of the Shura Council No. (62/34) dated on 09/07/1436 H., the Cabinet approved the application of the regulation of private health institutions, issued in the Royal Decree No. (M / 40) dated on 3/11/1423, and its executive regulation on charitable societies that are interested in opening charitable health institutions.
Fourth: The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Communications and Information Technology to discuss with the Korean side the following two draft memoranda of understanding, sign them and submit the final versions to complete the legal procedures:
1 - A draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of electronic government between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Government Administration and National Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
2 - A draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of telecommunications and information technology between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Science, Information Technology, Communications and Future Planning of the Republic of Korea.
Fifth: The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Civil Service - or his deputy - to discuss with the Mauritanian side a draft memorandum of understanding in the field of civil service between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, sign it, and submit the final version for completion of the legal procedures.
Sixth: The Cabinet authorized the President of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy - or his deputy - to discuss with the South African side and the Spanish side a draft agreement on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the governments of the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Spain, and submit the final version for completion of the legal procedures.
The Cabinet approved the General Commission for Endowment (GCE) system. It also approved that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance shall represent the Kingdom in endowment-related regional and international conferences, forums and symposiums and continue to be in charge of administrative supervision of activities of endowed mosques on which endowers were appointed as supervisors.
According to the EGC's system, which was approved by the Cabinet, the authority turns to be a financially and administratively independent panel, which directly reports to the Council of Ministers Presiden. It aims at organizing, preserving and developing the endowments in a way that meets the conditions of their endowers and enhances their role in economic and social development.
According to the new system, the GCE supervises all public, private and joint endowments as well as the supervisors' work. A board of directors of the authority shall be formed with a Cabinet-appointed head and a governor to be appointed by its board of directors.
The Cabinet was briefed on annual reports of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Saudi Development Fund, and King Khalid Specialist Eye Hospital for the fiscal year 1434 / 1435 H. The Cabinet issued relevant instructions.