Riyadh, SPA :
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet's session at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh yesterday.
At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the outcomes of his talks with President of the Republic of Tunisia, President of the Republic of Turkey, President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organization, President of the Republic of Tajikistan and Lebanon's former President, as well as the topics of his telephone conversations with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the President of the Republic of Egypt and the King of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Council of Ministers expressed its congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the first anniversary of his ascension to the throne, and on the firm positions and achievements realized by the Kingdom at international political arenas and national and developmental accomplishments in all fields.
The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency following the session that the Council of Ministers paid tribute to the contents of the King's annual speech delivered at the inauguration of the fourth year of the sixth session of the Shura Council, reflecting an integral and developmental, political, economic and security vision carrying positive meanings and indications in a changing and confusing world and illustrating the Kingdom's keenness to fulfill its duties and responsibilities to best serve Islam and Muslims.
The Cabinet highlighted the continuing interest of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in health, education, housing, employment, transport and economic sectors through providing unlimited financial, human and organizational support as part of its awareness that Saudi citizens are its first developmental priority.
The Cabinet emphasized the Kingdom's pursuing a firm foreign policy that is committed to international charters and advocating Islamic and Arab causes aiming to fight terrorism, achieve security and stability in the world, and seek to achieve the unity of ranks to face the dangers and challenges engulfing the Islamic and Arab nations.
The Council of Ministers highly valued the directives issued by the King to the Council of Economic and Development Affairs following the approval of the State's general budget 1437/1438 H. to work to launch a comprehensive and structural economic and financial reforms program so that the budget would represent the start of a complementary and comprehensive working program to build a strong economy based on firm pillars in which income resources diversify, savings grow, job opportunities increase, partnership between the public and private sectors strengthen together with continual developmental and service projects implementation, different governmental services promotion and public expenditure efficiency upgrading.
The Minister said that Cabinet appreciated the King's directive to officials to give priority to complete the implementation of projects approved in previous budgets, many of them are under construction, and his directive to officials responsible for the preparation of the budget to bear in mind the continuing work on the integrated and balanced comprehensive development in all regions of the Kingdom, and his emphasis on officials to implement their missions in the best way and serve citizens, who are the leadership's focus of attention, as well as continuing revision of the regulations of control systems to ensure the promotion of their authorities, upgrade the performance of their missions and responsibilities, preserve public money and ensure accountability for the negligent.
The Cabinet expressed its appreciation to Arab, Islamic and friendly countries and Arab and international organizations, parliaments and bodies that expressed their support for the decisions and measures taken by the Kingdom to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, track down perpetrators of terrorist acts and agitators of seditions, prosecute them , and implement judicial rulings without discrimination for any consideration in application of the Islamic Sharia for the protection of rights, achievement of justice, maintaining the security of the society, deterring anyone who tempts for spreading corruption on the earth, and commending the judiciary's efficiency in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its independence and integrity.
The Cabinet condemned the attacks, destruction, burning and looting of the contents of the Kingdom's Embassy in Tehran and Consulate in Mashhad, noting that the attacks came after Iranian aggressive regime's comments which formed a blatant incitement encouraged the attacks on the Kingdom's missions and represents a flagrant violation of all international agreements, charters and treaties.
The Cabinet noted the position of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States, their strong condemnation of Iranian attacks, their categorical rejection of them, and holding the Iranian authorities full responsibility according to their commitment to Vienna Conventions 1961 and 1963, and the international law holding countries the responsibility for protecting diplomatic missions.
Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said that the Cabinet thanked all sisterly and friendly countries, which announced their stand and solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its decision, and decided to recall their ambassadors and cut off diplomatic relations with the Republic of Iran.
The Cabinet reviewed the Arab League Council's reconfirmation of its condemnation of the Iranian government for interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries, considering it as a violation of the rules of the international law and the principle of good neighborliness, and a serious threat to regional and international security and peace.
On the local affairs, the Minister of Culture and Information pointed out that the Cabinet lauded the decisions issued by the 45th meeting of the Board of Directors of King Abdulaziz Foundation for Archives and Information which was chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
The Council was briefed on a number of activities and results of conferences and symposiums held in the Kingdom during the past two weeks. It also reviewed the topics of today's session agenda, some of which were studied by the Shura Council, and was briefed on the outcome reached by each of the General Committee of the Council of Ministers and the Experts Bureau of the Council of Ministers. To this end, the Council has decided the following:
First: The Cabinet approved the amendment of several articles of the weapons and ammunition system, issued according to the Royal Decree No. (M / 45) dated 25/7/1426 H.
Second: The Cabinet approved the agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Romania with respect to reciprocal treatment to exempt diplomatic missions of both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Romania from added value taxation, which was signed in the city Bucharest on 14/05/1436 H.
Third: The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources or his deputy to discuss with the Mexican side a draft memorandum of understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the United Mexican States on cooperation in the sectors of oil and gas, sign it, and then forward the final version to complete the legal procedures.
Fourth: Based on a proposal by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Ministers approved changing the name of the Institute of Diplomatic Studies to Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies.
Fifth: The Council of Ministers approved the Air Services Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, which was signed in Riyadh on 10/02/1436 H.
Sixth: Having being briefed by the concerned authority on the issue of seizing governmental land plots, the Cabinet approved a host of arrangements to tackle this matter, including that the concerned governmental authority will have the right to enable whoever holds a land within the city's urban zone and is using it for agricultural or industrial or service or commercial purposes to continue benefiting from the actually-exploited part of the plot at a rent rate to be fixed by the concerned authority provided that it would not be less than the leasing rate of a similar site in the vicinity and according to a number of conditions, including:
- the land held should not be banned or contradictory to the public order,
- the land should not be part of sites allotted for drinking water resources or non-renewable water zones,
- the duration of exploiting the land should not exceed 25 years with the right of the governmental authority persists in ending the right of taking the possession of the land at any time, if public interest deemed it necessary,
- the benefit from the land plot should be subject to the allotted usage of the land according to the accredited plan,
- the holder of the land will have no right to transfer or rent it to others,
- the holder of the land should pledge to eliminate all constructions he made at the end of the duration of benefiting from it and, if the governmental authority would not like to eliminate them, he has no right to demand compensation.
The Cabinet was also briefed on two annual reports of the General Commission for Statistics and the Economic Cities Authority for two previous fiscal years. The Cabinet has instructed the pertinent authorities accordingly.