Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet's session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday.
At the outset of the session, the King briefed the Cabinet on the outcome of his talks with President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, during which the firm positions of the Kingdom towards the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the brotherly Palestinian people were stressed, and his meeting with Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, during which a number of issues related to the progress of the GCC joint action were reviewed.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session, Minister of State, Member of the Cabinet and Acting Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Essam bin Saad bin Saeed said that the cabinet reviewed a number of reports on the latest developments of events in the region and the world, stressing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's support for all judicial measures taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain to fight extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's solidarity and standing by the Kingdom of Bahrain in the measures taken to preserve the security, stability and safety of its citizens and to safeguard Bahrain's unity and social cohesion.
On the occasion of the start of the 32nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's call on the international community to take action to stop the racist Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories and the suffering of the Palestinian people due to the Israeli violations against Palestinian human rights through the systematic murder, torture, siege and destruction of property and acts of Judaization of Al-Quds, and the necessity of activating the international legitimacy to achieve the aspirations of the Palestinian people and to hold Israel accountable for the heinous war crimes against Palestinian people.
The cabinet called on the international community to unify positions and take practical steps to stop the bloodshed of innocent people and protect children and women from the abuses committed by Bashar al-Assad's regime and affiliated terrorist militias against the Syrian people and which led to the killing of more than 300 thousand people, and the need to bring war criminals in Syria to international justice.
In local affairs, the minister said the Council of Ministers thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his commitment and interest in the needs of citizens and attention to their issues, noting in this context his order to include students studying now on their own in the United States in the educational mission within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosqus Foreign Scholarship Program totaling 2628 students and which was announced by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
Dr. Essam bin Saad bin Saeed reported that the Council of Ministers was briefed on the topics on the agenda and took the following:
The Cabinet decided the renewal of membership and appointment of a number of people in the board of directors of the General Commission for Survey for three years. Those whose membership was renewed included Dr. Abdullah bin Salman Alsalman, Dr. Adel bin Shahin Aldosary and Zaki bin Mohammad Ali Farsi. The appointed member was Abdullah bin Mohammad Alshadid.
The Cabinet approved the final account of the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization for the years (1435/1436 AH), and the annual report and financial statements of the Public Investment Fund for the fiscal year (1434/1435 H.)
The Cabinet approved the establishment of Madinah-based King Abdul Aziz Complex for Endowment Libraries which aims at preserving the endowment libraries.
The Cabinet approved an agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital and the protocol accompanying it and which was signed in Riyadh on 06/01/1437 AH.
Concerning civil service, the cabinet approved the Guidance on Work Physical Environment in Government Agencies and a number of measures to improve the work physical environment in government departments.
The Cabinet approved the inclusion of the penalty of defamation at the end of the provisions on sanctions contained in: the regulation of fishing, investment and protection of living aquatic resources in the territorial waters of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the regulation of livestock, the regulation of pastures and forests, the regulation of agricultural quarantine of the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council, the royal decree on sanctions of violation of the regulation of veterinary quarantine of the countries of Gulf Cooperation Council and the regulation of beekeeping.
The text reads as follows:
"The penalty decision may include the provision of publishing its text at the expense of the violator in a local newspaper in his residence area; if there is not a newspaper in his area, then in the nearest area to him or publishing it in any other appropriate means, according to the type of the offense committed and its gravity and implications provided that the publication of the decision shall be after the legally set time lapse or endorsement by a competent court."
The Cabinet approved the Northern Border University's signing of two drafts of memorandums of understanding for academic cooperation with the Japanese Kanazawa University and Nagoya University.
The Cabinet approved the accession of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the international Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea signed in Athens 1974 and its modified protocol (1976).
The Cabinet approved a number of appointments of senior officials.