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 Tuesday afternoon.
At the outset of the session, the King briefed the Cabinet on the outcomes of his visit to the Russian Federation, his talks and meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian senior officials, and Presidents of Tatarstan, Ingushetia, Chechnya, and Bashkiria, during which they discussed bilateral relations to achieve the aspirations of the two countries and push them forward to broader and more comprehensive horizons, and his emphasis on the Kingdom s keenness on strengthening relations between the Kingdom and Russia and continuing positive cooperation between the two countries to achieve the stability of the world oil markets for the interest of the global economic growth.
The King also briefed the Cabinet on the phone call received from President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of Republic of Sudan.
The Cabinet stressed the King s speeches during his talks and meetings with Russian officials, and his emphasis and calls on the international community to intensify efforts to combat extremism, fight terrorism, dry up the sources of its financing, the necessity for ending the sufferings of the Palestinian people, the security and stability of the Gulf region and the Middle East as the utmost necessity to achieve global security and stability which requires that Iran stops its interference in the affairs of the countries of the region and destabilization of its security and stability. It also affirmed the King s emphasis on the importance of a political solution to the Yemeni crisis, ending Syria s crisis and preserving its unity, preserving Iraq s unity, territorial integrity and the unification of its interior front to combat terrorism, and the call on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities with regard to Rohingya Muslims, which embodied the Kingdom s firm positions on the issues of the region and the world.
The Cabinet appreciated the King s emphasis during his meeting with members of Saudi-Russian Business Council that his visit is an affirmation to move forward in serious search for joint opportunities to develop relations between the Kingdom and Russia in all fields and the outcomes of his directives to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense on his three visits to Russia which have a clear impact on enhancing the partnership between the two sides through signing agreements and memorandums of understanding in line with the Kingdom s vision 2030 to promote the national economy and make it free from dependence on oil as the sole source of the national economy.
The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the Cabinet commended the results of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' visit to Russia, contributing to the strengthening and cementing of bilateral relations, the exchange of agreements, memorandums of understanding and cooperation programs signed between the two countries' Governments.
The Cabinet expressed thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the royal orders issued to meet the needs of the homeland and its citizens taking into consideration their interests, including the establishment of the National Development Fund to carry out the general supervision, as organization, regulatory and operational of the funds and banks in order to improve their performance to achieve the desired goals of their establishment, reflecting the wise leadership's interest in supporting the march of supporting the development programs and projects that serve citizens directly.
He said that the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on latest regional and international developments, welcoming the development of the Palestinian reconciliation efforts and expressed the Kingdom's hope that the efforts of the Government of Reconciliation will contribute to the consolidation of national unity and the unity of Palestinian ranks to meet the ambitions of the brotherly Palestinian people.
The Cabinet pointed to the statements made by many Arab States and Islamic and Arab organizations and institutions to reaffirm their total rejection of the inaccurate and unilateral information and data of the United Nations Secretary General's report on children in armed conflicts as lacking documentary work of international justice, which is supposed to determine the defaults by means of their correct surveys.
The Minister of Culture and Information also stated that the Cabinet referred to the International Monetary Fund's report on the Article IV consultations of the Kingdom in early October and the remarkable progress accomplished in achieving the objectives of the economic reform program in accordance with the Kingdom's Vision 2030, especially with regard to fiscal control and the progress achieved in the march of reforms aimed at improving the business environment.
The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom's strong condemnation and denunciation of the bombing struck the southern Pakistani province of Baluchistan and the attack on a joint patrol in south-west Niger, expressing condolences to the families of the victims and the governments and peoples of the two countries, stressing the Kingdom's stand with them against terrorism and extremism.
The Cabinet highly appreciated the achievements made by the State Security Presidency as it managed to dismantle a Daesh-linked terrorist cell along through raiding three sites affiliated to the cell and arresting five of its members, in addition to 22 persons accused to have instigated others to commit criminalized acts according to Islamic Sharia and law and country's regulations.
The Cabinet also pointed out to the steadfast of security men against the criminal offense that targeted a guard out-post affiliated to the Royal Guard located opposite to the western gate of Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, a development seen as part of terrorist attacks against the Kingdom attempting to destabilizing its security and stability.
Dr. Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad said that the Cabinet was briefed on the issues on its agenda, some of which were co-reviewed earlier by the Shura Council. The Cabinet concluded the following:
The Cabinet authorized the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, or his deputy, to discuss with the German side a draft memorandum of understanding for scientific and technical cooperation between the Government of Saudi Arabia and the Federal Republic of Germany, sign it and forward the final version for further endorsement of procedures.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, or his deputy, to discuss with the German side a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the industrial field between the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany, sign it and forward the final version for further authentication.
The Cabinet approved on a memorandum of understanding on political consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, which was signed in Jeddah province on 29/8/1437 H.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Finance, who is also Chairman of the General Authority for Zakat (alms) and Income, or his deputy, to sign a draft agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Slovak Republic to avoid double taxation on income taxes and to prevent tax evasion, and forward the final version, for completion of formal procedures.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding between the Board of Grievances of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Court of the Public Grievances and Hesbah (public market control authority) of the Republic of the Sudan in the field of administrative judiciary, which was signed in Khartoum on 22/5/1438 H.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum of cooperation between King Abdulaziz Foundation For Research and Archives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Institute of Manuscripts at the National Academy for Sciences of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was signed in Baku on 3/8/1437 H.
The Cabinet approve a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the National Anti-Corruption Commission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Corruption Eradication Commission of the Republic of Indonesia on cooperation in preventing and combating corruption, which was signed Riyadh on 14/3/1438 H.
The Cabinet appointed retired Major General/ Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Khalid as member of the Board of Directors of the General Pension Agency.
The Council of Ministers appointed Abdulrahman bin Ahmed Al-Harbi as member of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, representing the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.
Based on a recommendation submitted by the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, the Cabinet extended the National Program for the Developing Industrial Compounds until 16/5/1442 H.
Based on a recommendation submitted by the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, the Council of Ministers amended the name of the Council of Competition to the "General Authority for Competition" and approved its organization and regulations.
The main features of the organization are:
1. The Riyadh-based authority shall report directly to the Prime Minister and may establish offices in the regions of the Kingdom as deemed necessary.
2. The Commission shall protect and encourage fair competition, combat monopolistic practices breaching legitimate competition and maintain the competitive environment of the business sector within the framework of justice and transparency of the domestic market.
3. The Authority shall have a Board of Directors whose President shall be appointed by a Royal Order, ranking as minister.
4. The Commission shall have a governor who will be appointed in the excellent rank upon nomination of the its President.
The Cabinet added a new paragraph (b) to Article (85) of the Antiquities, Museums and Urban Heritage Statute, issued by Royal Decree No. (M / 3) dated 09/01/1436 H.
The Cabinet decided added a new paragraph (3) to Article (13) ) of the Tourism Law, issued by Royal Decree No. (M / 2) dated 09/01/1436 H.
The Cabinet amended some articles of the time-sharing system in the touristic real estate units, issued by Royal Decree No. (M/52) dated 20/8/1427 H.
The Cabinet approved appointments and promotions in the 15th and 14th ranks, as follows:
1- Appointment of Badr bin Abdulmohsin bin Abdullah Al-Haddab as undersecretary for technical affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (rank 15).
2- Promotion of Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Huwaimel to the post of legal adviser at the General Presidency of Religious Research and Ifta (rank 15).
3- Promotion of Eng. Ibrahim bin Abdullah bin Ibrahim Al-Humaidan to the post of architectural consultant engineer at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (rank 14).
4- Promotion of Abdulhakeem bin Jubran bin Mohammed Al-Shahrani to the post of social security advisor at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (rank 14).
The Cabinet tackled a number of general topics on its agenda, including the annual report of the Ministry of Economy and Planning on a previous fiscal year. The Cabinet took the necessary instructions towards it.