The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the session held by the Cabinet at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh yesterday.
At the outset of the meeting, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques expressed his sincere condolence and sympathy to Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, the Qatari government and sisterly people on the sad demise of Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, appealing to Allah Almighty to forgive him, bestow his mercy on his soul, and pour patience on all of them.
Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the outcomes of the meetings and talks he had with President Nicolas Maduro of the Republic of Venezuela; the Executive President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Dr. Abdullah Abdullah; Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu-Dhabi and Vice Commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates; Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden Steven Loven; and the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Chad, as the talks reviewed aspects of cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in all fields.
The Cabinet lauded the joint statement issued following the first meeting of the Saudi Jordanian Coordination Council, approving the continuation of the preparatory committee's work for the council and completion of other agreements bills currently being prepared, and underscoring the importance of continuing coordination between the two sisterly countries to achieve consolidation of relations between them.
Dr. Isam bin Saad bin Saeed, Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet, who is also Acting Minister of Culture and Information, told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the meeting, that the Cabinet has welcomed the communiqué issued by the 42nd session of the foreign ministers council of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation which was held in the Uzbekistan's capital of Tashkent, citing that the contents of the meeting pointed out to the increasing need to enhance the awareness of the entire world community of the humanitarian righteous essence of Islam, its tolerance and pioneering in the field of spiritual illumination and assertion of the importance of work for achieving prompt stability of the situations in the Middle East, North Africa and other tense places in the continent through finding swift political solutions for the crises there according to the principles stated in the United Nations Charter, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation statute and in congruity of the accredited international standards and the importance of drafting measures to combat terrorism and tackle the symptoms of violence and extremism in all its forms and manifestations.
The Cabinet was briefed on the Kingdom's welcome that the United Nations Human Rights Council has convened a special session to discuss the situations in the Syrian city of Halab (Allepo) amid the grave and dangerous escalation of matters by the Syrian regime and its allies, in a flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law. It was also briefed on the Kingdom's call at the 33rd session of the council for immediate and permanent stoppage of hostilities in Halab and unconditioned access of humanitarian assistance to the city.
The Cabinet lauded the outcomes of the 20th meeting of the environment ministers of the GCC which was held in Jeddah, including the presentation of the noble contents envisioned by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to enhance the GCC joint work and exert more effort to protect the common Gulf environment and achieve the necessary equilibrium between environment and development.
His Excellency explained that the Cabinet was briefed on the discussions held by the ministers of oil and energy of the GCC at their 35th meeting in Riyadh on oil markets and noted that it was heading toward balance. Also reviewed were the efforts exerted by OPEC in collaboration with non-OPEC countries and the intensive consultations to pave the way for taking the appropriate measures for the restoration of the market's balance with the needed speed and to expedite the process of the market's recovery taking in mind the huge increase in size of oil inventories over the past period. The Cabinet also took notice of the importance of the role of the GCC in stabilizing the market in coordination with the other OPEC and non-OPEC producers in a way that achieves the interests of the GCC countries and people in particular and the oil industry and international economy in general. It was also briefed on the outcome of the consultative meeting which was held with the Russian energy minister in Riyadh as well as the importance for the GCC countries to become effective parties in Paris Agreement on climate change, and KYOTO protocol, and to unify their work and voice as an unified economic bloc in coordinating and drawing plans, policies and instructions to reduce the negative impact of climate change on the economies of the GCC and work to convince the world community to use the clean energy technology, including oil in its capacity as an imperative demand of the response mechanism and implementation of the agreement's articles.
The Cabinet was also briefed on the Kingdom's presentation before the 37th oil and capital conference held in London on the current and future situations of the oil markets, passing prosperous and recess periods and the influence of demand and supply factors in price changes as well as supplies and energy consumption and the role of privatization as one of the key elements in the Kingdom's vision 2030.
The Acting Minister of Culture and Information noted that the Cabinet has praised the admittance of the General Statistics authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the membership of the Board of Directors of the International Comparison Program for the term 2017-2019 following its nomination by the UN Statistics Department and the Word Bank's Data Development Group to represent west Asia countries, a confirmation of the Kingdom's effective presence in the international statistics map and a reflection of the results of the strategic change in the statistical sector of the Kingdom and its role in supporting the national development decisions.
The Cabinet also lauded the outcome of the Saudi Portuguese joint committee reached at its closing session in Riyadh, citing the importance of enhancing commercial and investment partnership between the two countries based on the Kingdom vision 2030, itself based on the three pillars of Arab and Islamic depth, investment force and the Kingdom's geographic and strategic site.
The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom's determination to continue combating terrorist activities of the Lebanese Hezbollah and work with the world partners to unveil its terrorist and criminal plots, citing the Kingdom's classifying two persons and an entity as linked to terrorist activities, necessitating enforcing sanctions on them according to the terror crimes and financing law and the money laundering combating law.
The Cabinet hinted to the welcome of the UN World Food Program of the Kingdom's contribution to support Syrian displaced people inside their country as well as Syrian refugees in Jordan which was announced following the signing of the Saudi Development Fund and the director of the Program Bureau of the GCC which confirmed that the contribution submitted by the Kingdom for the program's projects has helped saving the lives of millions over the world.
On the local affairs, the Cabinet praised the kind care the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has lent to King Abdulaziz International annual contest for the memorization, recitation and interpretation of the Holy Quran in its 38th session currently ongoing at the grand mosque in Makkah with the participation of 114 competitors from 76 countries. The Cabinet also highlighted the commendation the monarch has made during chairing the 46th meeting of King Abdulaziz Center for Archives and Information (Daratul Malik Abdulaziz) board of directors, citing the role of the Dara in authenticating the history of the Arab peninsula and its care of its different sources as part of its efforts in writing the Kingdom's national history.
Dr. Essam bin Saad bin Saeed said that the Cabinet has reviewed the issues on the agenda, and concluded the following:
The Cabinet approved the fees for services provided by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage in accordance with the attached tables.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Justice, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft judicial cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Justice, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft agreement on cooperation in the judicial field with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines and Ethiopia.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Education, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft memorandum of scientific and educational cooperation between the Ministry of Education of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Higher Education of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The Cabinet approved the final account of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority for the fiscal year 1435/1436H.
The Cabinet approved the implementation of the GCC Supreme Council Resolution issued at its 36 Summit which was held in Riyadh on 27-28/02/1437 H., stating the endorsement of the unified acquisition rules of the GCC financial markets.
The Cabinet approved the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The Cabinet approved the addition of a representative from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to the Board of Directors of the Public Transport Authority.
The Cabinet approved the Statute of the International Council for Dates.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Trade and Investment, who is also chairman of the Board of Directors of General Authority for Investment, or his deputy, to draft an agreement to promote and protect mutual investments between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Cabinet approved a number of promotions at the Ministry of Education as follows:
1- Eng. Yunus bin Omar bin Sulaiman Al-Barrak promoted to the post of Undersecretary of the Ministry for Buildings and School Supplies (Rank 15).
2- Jalloway bin Mohammed bin Amer Kirkman promoted to the post of Education Advisor (Rank 15).
3- Rashid bin Abdullah bin Saad Al-Nabit promoted to the post of Director General of Educational Department (Rank 14).
4- Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Duraihim promoted to the post of Director General of Private Education (Rank 14).
The Cabinet was also briefed on a number of general issues on the agenda, including the outcome of the 5th meeting of the Joint Saudi-Qatari Business Council.