The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet's session held at Al-Yamamah Palace here yesterday.
At the outset of the session, the King briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meeting with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Dominic Raab, during which they reviewed relations between the two friendly countries, ways of enhancing them, and overall latest regional and international issues.
The Cabinet reviewed preventive efforts made by all relevant government agencies, precautionary measures they have taken to follow the developments of the health situation of the novel Coronavirus COVID19, ensuring the protection of the health of citizens and residents and limiting the spread of the virus, expressing its satisfaction with the positive results of those efforts, including health detection on more than half a million passengers through the ports of entry into the Kingdom, the application of domestic isolation to 2032 people, quarantine to 468 people, and advanced laboratory tests on suspicious cases which showed 20 positive samples and are currently under medical care in hospitals equipped to deal with this type of disease, praising all concerned people for maintaining the public health.
The Cabinet expressed its appreciation for the praise issued by the World Health Organization for the Kingdom's efforts and additional measures it has taken to protect public health in this regard, commending the directive of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, which includes providing financial support amounting to 10 million US dollars in response to the urgent appeal from the World Health Organization to combat the Coronavirus, which embodies the human role of the Kingdom and its keenness to harness its potential and resources in serving humanitarian issues for the good of mankind, confirming the Kingdom's continued follow-up to global developments regarding the extent of the spread of the Coronavirus, and providing full support to concerned international organizations seeking to control it.
The Cabinet affirmed that measures taken in Qatif governorate temporarily come within the framework of precautionary measures to prevent the transmission of infection and enable competent health authorities to provide the best medical care to citizens and residents, praising the cooperation of all and their response to these preventive measures to preserve their safety.
The Cabinet condemned Iran's irresponsible conduct to facilitate the entry of Saudi citizens into its territories, without putting a stamp on their passports at a time when infection with the new Coronavirus spreads, which poses a health threat to safety, undermines international efforts to combat the virus, and Iran bears direct responsibility and what it causes from the outbreak of infection with the virus.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Media, pointed out that the cabinet referred to what was expressed by the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in their statement issued on the repercussions of the spread of the novel coronavirus and the importance of working with the international community to assist developing countries to cope with the impact of the outbreak in addition to its welcome of the steps taken by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group (WBG) and other international organizations to help member countries by using their available instruments to the fullest extent possible, including emergency financing, policy advice and technical assistance as part of a coordinated global response as well as their full support for measures that countries are applying to contain the spread of the virus, treat the infected and prevent its spread.
The Cabinet reviewed a number of issues and events and their latest developments at the Arab, regional and international levels, pointing out the statement issued by the 153th meetings of the Council of the Arab League at the level of Foreign Ministers, and the discussions in the fields of Arab joint action. The Cabinet also reviewed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's affirmation of permanent support and stand by the Palestinian people in all international forums in order to obtain their legitimate rights as well as its support of the security and stability in Yemen and the political solution based on the outcomes of the national dialogue, the Gulf initiative and its executive mechanisms and the UN Security Council Resolution no. 2216. The Cabinet also highlighted the Kingdom's support of the peaceful solutions to crises in Syria, Libya and Sudan as well as its concern for the unity, sovereignty and integrity of all Arab lands in addition to fighting the phenomenon of terrorism and extremism.
The Cabinet also dealt with the statement issued by the Quartet Arab Ministerial Committee on the follow-up to the crisis with Iran, which condemns the Iranian regime’s blatant and continuous violations of the international laws, charters and norms and its practices that threaten the security of the region, the stability of the Arab states, interference in their internal affairs and support for the armed militias that spread chaos in many Arab countries. The Cabinet also pointed out that the committee stresses that the international community must assume its responsibilities regarding the Iranian hostile practices and sponsorship of terrorist activities in the region and the world which pose a threat to the international peace and security.
The Cabinet reiterated that the Kingdom affirms, before the 43rd Human Rights Council in Geneva, its keenness to embody all its values of tolerance, brotherhood, justice and call for a dialogue in addition to renouncing extremism and violence and combating terrorism, adding that the Kingdom highlights its active and influential role in addressing the phenomenon of terrorism via taking a number of necessary measures, including the security and intellectual confrontation with the importance of adhering to the protection and promotion of human rights as well as its determination to move towards supporting, promoting and protecting the cultural rights in the Kingdom in accordance with its national regulations and international commitments.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom's condemnation of the assassination attempt that targeted the Prime Minister of Sudan, confirming its rejection and denunciation of this cowardly terrorist act and any attempts to undermine Sudan's security and stability.
The Cabinet condemned the terrorist act that aimed at targeting one of the oil tankers in the Arabian Sea with four marine boats while sailing towards the Gulf of Aden, stressing that this is a threat to the global energy security, maritime transport routes and global trade of ships, calling upon the international partners to unite and join efforts to neutralize these threats to the global security.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom's strong condemnation of the terrorist bombings that targeted a security patrol near the American embassy in Tunis and a celebration in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which resulted in killing and wounding many people, expressing condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims and to the governments and peoples of the two brotherly countries. The Cabinet stressed that the Kingdom stands by the two countries against all acts of extremism and terrorism, wishing a speedy recovery for the injured.
Then, the Cabinet issued the following decisions:
First: The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Environment, Water and Electricity, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saline Water Conversion Corporation - or his representative - to discuss and sign with the Russian side a draft memorandum of understanding between the Saline Water Conversion Corporation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Ufa State Petroleum Technological University of the Russian Federation in field of water desalination techniques and pipelines.
The Cabinet decided to delegate the Minister of Housing - or his representative - to negotiate with the Japanese side a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation, in the field of housing between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Japan, sign it and then submit the final signed copy, to complete regulatory procedures.
The Cabinet decided to approve a memorandum of understanding, in the field of technical and vocational training between the Technical & Vocational Training Corporation, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Korean Institute for Technical Education Research and Training, in the Republic of Korea.
A royal decree has been prepared, in this regard.
The Cabinet decided to delegate the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Geological Survey - or his deputy - to discuss with the Argentine side, on a draft memorandum of understanding for scientific and geological cooperation between the Saudi Geological Survey Authority, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Geological and Mineral Survey Foundation, in the Republic of Argentina, sign it and submit the final signed copy, to complete regulatory procedures.
The Cabinet decided to delegate the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Food and Drug General Authority - or his deputy - to negotiate with the Korean side a draft memorandum of understanding between the Food and Drug Authority, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, in the Republic of Korea to cooperate in the field of food control and the field of medical products, sign it and submit the final signed copy, to complete regulatory procedures.
The Cabinet decided to establish the Events Center, in accordance with the regulatory arrangements attached to the decision.
The Cabinet approved establishing the Saudi Tourism Authority, in accordance with attached regulatory arrangements of the decision.
The Cabinet approved forming a national program to be named: the National Program for Developing Information Technology Sector, in accordance with attached regulatory arrangements of the decision.
The Cabinet decided that the National Center for Competitiveness shall form a unit to back up laws, regulations and the like, in the status.
The Cabinet approved promotions to 15th and 14th ranks, as follows:
1-Assaf bin Abdullah bin Osman Al-Assaf to the post of Administrative Counsellor, 15th rank, at the Ministry of Defense.
2-Dr. Abdullah bin Suleiman bin Abdullah Al-Nasser to the post of Director General of the Branch of Makkah Region, 15th rank, at the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta.
3-Hosni bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Boustaji to the post of Director General of Madinah Region, 14th rank, at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
4-Sultan bin Saleh Al-Sibaiei to the post of Director General of the Eastern Region, 14th rank, at the General Presidency for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice.
The Cabinet reviewed a number of issues on its agenda, too, and took appropriate recommendations, in their regard.