The 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 afternoon.
At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques welcomed the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States in their 16th consultative meeting to be held in Jeddah on Tuesday, praying to Allah Almighty for the success and the good of all for the GCC states and their peoples and the achievement of further cooperation in the march of the GCC joint action, and he briefed the Cabinet on the results of his meeting with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques was reassured about preparations being made by various authorities concerning with the service of Umrah performers and visitors in preparation for the holy month of Ramadan, stressing the Kingdom s keenness to provide the best services for visitors of the Two Holy Mosques emanating from its duties and responsibilities towards all Muslims, and the providing of all matters to ensure the security, safety and comfort of the pilgrims to perform their rituals with all tranquility and stability, directing all authorities concerning with the service of Umrah performers and visitors to intensify their efforts to create religious atmospheres for the visitors of the Two Holy Mosques, praying to Allah Almighty that they all fast the holy month of Ramadan, and all Muslims good deeds be accepted.
In his statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said that the Cabinet extended its thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his attention to the construction of the Two Holy Mosques, holy sites and their visitors, stressing that the patronage being accorded by the Crown Prince and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee, on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to the activities of 16th Scholarly Forum on Hajj, Umrah and Visit Research organized by Umm Al-Qura University represented in the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Institute for Hajj and Umrah Research, embodies his attention to the exploitation of all potentials, efforts and services for pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors, and the development of the system of Hajj, Umrah and visit for the service of pilgrims.
On the other hand, the Cabinet emphasized that the King's patronage of celebration of King Abdulaziz University on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its founding is an extension to the care being accorded by the leaders of this blessed country based on the holy Quran and the Sunnah of His prophet since its establishment to science and scientists because it is the basis for development and progress, and in this context, it congratulated the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the occasion for being awarded the honorary doctorate degree in the field of strengthening the Islamic unity by King Abdulaziz University in recognition of his efforts in serving Islam and Muslims.
The Cabinet also extended its thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the issuance of his approval to exempt farmers of the Arabian Shield's areas from the payment of the loans of Agricultural development Fund because of the drought.
The Cabinet stressed that the King's patronage of the final match of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup Competition held between Al-Ahli and Al-Nasr teams embodies the attention, support and encouragement being given by the King to the Saudi young people and athletes and his keenness on the development of this sector and encouraging young people for achievement and excellence in regional, continental and international arenas.
The Minister of Culture and Information said that the Cabinet was briefed on the report of the Minister of Justice on the completion of the transference of penal appeal courts and penal courts of the Board of Grievances to the General Jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice; where these courts have started their activities in the penal courts as of May 15, 2016 in implementation of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to develop the judiciary in accordance to the provisions of the judicial system and the mechanism of executive action issued by Royal Decree No. m / 78 dated on September 30, 2007, where this step is considered as a quantum leap in the march of the judiciary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Cabinet hailed the efforts made by the Ministry of Justice and judicial agencies in this regard, praising the completion of the transfer of penal courts to the general judiciary, which will contribute to the unification of penal justice, reducing conflicts of competency and speeding up the judgment of cases emanating from the attention and care being accorded to the judiciary by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques; the Crown Prince and the Deputy Crown Prince.
Then, the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on events and latest developments in the region and the world, and welcomed the joint statement issued at the conclusion of the 4th joint ministerial meeting for the strategic dialogue between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States and the Russian Federation, the joint statement issued by the 2nd joint ministerial meeting for the strategic dialogue between GCC Foreign Affairs and Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion and the results of the joint meeting between the GCC Foreign ministers and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
The Council praised the results of the 139 session of the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the decisions of the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers, which was held at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo.
The Cabinet also paid tribute to the Arab Information Ministers Council decision at their 47th, naming Al-Quds as "the capital of the Arab media", in recognition of the Muslim's first Qibla and third holiest city status in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said that the Council of Ministers was, then briefed on the topics on its agenda, including some in which the Shura Council have studied before forwarding them to the Council. And issued the following decisions:
The Cabinet approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Malaysia for cooperation in scientific, technical and industrial fields for the purposes of national defense, which was signed in Riyadh on 04/17/1437 AH.
The Cabinet authorized the President of the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage, or his deputy, to discuss with the Bulgarian side a draft memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of tourism between the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria, sign it and forward the final version for further legal procedure.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or his deputy, to discuss with the Georgian side a draft memorandum of understanding on political consultations between the foreign ministries of each of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Georgia, sign it, and then forward the final version for further authentication.
After reviewing a report by the Minister of Civil Service, and having seen the recommendation by the Standing Committee of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development No. (17-9 / 37 / d) dated 07/06/1437 H., the Cabinet decided to add a representative from the Ministry of Finance and a representative from the Ministry of Civil Service to the membership of the temporary committee, now being assigned to act instead of the dissolved Higher Education Council as per the Council of Ministers resolution No. 409 dated 12/09/1436 H. to tackle the necessary continuing executive instructions to run the universities.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Housing, or his deputy, to discuss two draft memoranda of understanding for cooperation in the field of housing between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the governments of each of Malaysia and the Republic of Singapore, and sign them, before forwarding the two final versions to complete the legal procedures accordingly.
After reviewing the recommendation of the Standing Committee of the Council of Economic Affairs and Development No. (5-20 / 37 / d) dated 12/7/1437 H., the Cabinet approved the final account of the General Organization for grains for the fiscal year 1435/1436 H.
The Cabinet authorized the President of the Saudi Commission for Wildlife, or his deputy, to discuss with the Russian side a draft memorandum of cooperation in the field of preservation of bio-diversity between the Saudi Wildlife Authority the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, sign it and then forward the final version for further authentication.
The Cabinet approved a number of appointments at the 14th rank as follows:
1 - Abdullah bin Yahya bin Mohammed Asiri as financial advisor at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
2 - Ibrahim bin Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Gehaimy as Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs for Municipal Affairs.
3 - Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Mubarak Al-Shahrani as civil service consultant at the Ministry of Civil Service.
4 - Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Sad-han as Assistant Secretary General of King Abdulaziz Center for Archives and Information (Darat Al-Malik Abdulaziz).
The Cabinet have reviewed a number of general topics on its agenda, and made the relevant instructions.