Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired yesterday a Cabinet's virtual session.
At the outset of the session, the Cabinet reviewed local and international developments on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Cabinet was briefed on the cases reported in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the proactive monitoring activities which contributed to reducing the spread of the virus. The Cabinet was also briefed on the medical and health care provided for the infected cases.
The Cabinet called on citizens, expatriates and employers to abide by the precautionary and preventive measures, adhere to the directives issued by the competent authorities, and apply all approved preventive protocols, following the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques' approval to lift the curfew completely in all regions and cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and allow the resumption of all economic and commercial activities. The Cabinet stressed that this emanates from the leadership's keenness on ensuring that life returns to normal without affecting the health and safety of all people; moving forward in plans and initiatives to preserve economic gains and continue development and progress; and supporting the local economy by all possible means.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Acting Minister of Media Dr. Majed bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi stated that the Cabinet addressed the constant care given by the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to enable Muslims to perform Umrah and Hajj rituals safely, which was reflected in the precautionary measures adopted since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The Cabinet stressed that the decision to have this year's Hajj with a limited number of pilgrims from all nationalities residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia comes to ensure that Hajj is safely performed, Muslims are protected from this pandemic, and the teachings of Islam in preserving health are adhered to.
The Cabinet renewed the Kingdom's strong condemnation of the launch of eight bomb-laden UAVs and three ballistic missiles by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia to target civilians and civil objects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressing that these attempts are terrorist operations targeting innocent civilians and population groups and threatening the lives of hundreds of civilians in a deliberate and systematic manner, which is a flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law and its customary rules.
The Cabinet reviewed developments at Arab, regional and international levels, reiterating the Kingdom's assertion that the security of the Arab Republic of Egypt is an integral part of the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the entire Arab nation, and that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands by Egypt in defending its borders and people from extremism, terrorist militias and their supporters in the region, and that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports Egypt's right to protect its western borders from terrorism, calling on the international community to assume its responsibilities to reach a comprehensive solution that ensures the safety and security of Libyan territories, the restoration of institutions, the elimination of terrorism and extremist militias, and putting an end to illegal foreign interventions that fuel terrorism in the region.
The Cabinet renewed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's condemnation and denunciation of the Turkish and Iranian aggression on Iraqi territories, describing it as an unacceptable interference in the affairs of an Arab country, a blatant violation of its territories, a threat to Arab and regional security, and an explicit violation of the international principles and covenants, affirming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's support for actions taken by the Republic of Iraq to preserve its sovereignty, security and stability.
Dr. Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet considered the decision of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, demanding Iran to fully and immediately cooperate with the agency, including allowing the Agency to access specified sites, as an important and serious step to address Iran's violations and breaches of international agreements and treaties related to its program, and as a necessity to address the threat posed by its policies to international peace and security.
The Cabinet also addressed the progress made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Annual Book on Global Competitiveness 2020, as it was ranked 24th among 63 competitive countries, advancing two ranks compared with the last year, and ranked 8th among the G20.
The Cabinet reviewed a number of issues on its agenda, and issued the following decisions:
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Interior - or his deputy – to discuss and sign a draft convention on cooperation in combating crime between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other countries.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Interior - or his deputy- to discuss and sign with the Republic of Benin and Hong Kong sides two draft agreements on the extradition of wanted persons between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Benin and Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, then the final two signed versions shall be submitted to complete the statutory procedures.
Approval of a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the health fields between the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.
Approval of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's accession to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall prepare the instrument of accession to the aforementioned protocol, and depositing it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Approval of a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of electronic government between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Interior and Safety in the Republic of Korea, and approval of a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of communications and information technology between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technology in The Republic of Korea.
The Minister of Transport, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority of Civil Aviation - or his representative - is authorized to sign draft agreements between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the governments of: the Kingdom of Morocco, the Dominican Republic, and the Republic of Ghana in the field of air transport services.
Approval of a memorandum of understanding between the General Accounting Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the audit office in the Republic of Indonesia for cooperation in the field of accounting, supervisory and professional work.
Approval of the amendment to Paragraph (A) of Article (Second) of the Income Tax Regulation issued by Royal Decree No. (M / 1) dated 1/15/1425 H, as amended by Royal Decree No. (M / 131) dated 29,1, 1438 AH, as contained in the decision.
Appointment of members of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Measuring the Performance of Public Departments.
Approval of the list of job categories for which the services of their employees may be extended after reaching the legal retirement age.
Representatives of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Public Investment Fund shall be members of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation and the appointment of members of the private sector on the Board of Directors of the Saudi Arabian Airlines Corporation.
The Cabinet approved a number of promotions at the ranks of (14 and 15).
The Cabinet was briefed on a number of issues on its agenda, including two annual reports of the former Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu for two previous fiscal years, the Cabinet took relevant recommendations.