The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet's session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday afternoon.
At the outset of the session, the King briefed the Cabinet on the results of his visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt and discussions with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on bilateral relations between the two countries, ways of strengthening them in all fields, regional and international issues, efforts being exerted towards them and the affirmation on the importance of establishing the Council of Arab and African Coastal States of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
The King also talked about the participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the first Arab-European Summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh and the results of his meetings with the King of Bahrain, Emir of Kuwait, Iraqi President, Cypriot President, German Chancellor, Prime Ministers of Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Czech and Belgium, and the heads of delegations participating in the summit. The King expressed in this regard the Kingdom's looking forward that the outcome of the Summit will contribute to strengthening historical relations between the Arab world and the European Union in all fields and working towards building a true partnership between the two sides for the interest of peoples and future generations.
The Cabinet stressed the contents of the speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques before the first Arab-European Summit, including the praise of historical relations between the Arab world and the European Union, the firm positions of the Kingdom on various issues, and emphasis that the Palestinian cause is the first cause of Arab countries and its solution is important not only for the stability of the Middle East, but for the world and Europe in particular. The King reiterated that the Iranian regime's support for Houthi Militias and others in the region requires a unified international position to make it abide by the rules of good neighborliness and the international law and put an end to its nuclear and ballistic programs, renewing the Kingdom's calls for a political solution to crises being experienced by some Arab countries according to international references and that the adherence to international treaties, norms and decisions is the basis for resolving conflicts, and the importance of continuing joint action in the fight against terrorism and money laundering, stressing that relations can not be normal among states without full respect for sovereignty and not interfering in their internal affairs.
The Cabinet also commended the positive results of the Arab-European Summit, expressing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's congratulations to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt for their success in hosting the Summit.
The Minister of Media Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah said, in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency following the session, that King Salman briefed the Cabinet on the contents of his telephone call with President Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, during which the distinguished relations between the two countries were reviewed in what could stabilize the oil market in order to serve the growth of the world economy.
Upon directives of the monarch, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, briefed the Cabinet on the results of his visits to the Islamic republic of Pakistan, Republic of India and People's Republic of China, and his talks with the leaders and senior officials of these countries. The visits and talks confirmed the strength of strategic relations and underscored the importance of working to promote cooperation and serious desire to deepen and strengthen the relations in all areas.
HRH the Crown Prince expressed his thanks to and appreciation of those leaders and governments for their respect to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of King Salman and the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and his accompanying delegation.
The Minister of Media pointed out that the Cabinet hailed the outcomes of the visits of HRH the Crown Prince to those countries, citing the signing of a number of agreements, memorandums of understanding, investment projects and bilateral cooperation, and the issuance of joint statements, which reflected the strong relations and the keenness to push them towards progress and rapid prosperity, as well as the joint coordination between the Kingdom, Pakistan, India and China in all fields.
The Cabinet expressed pride in the wise leadership's keenness to honor the citizens of this benevolent country including military personnel, for the sacrifice they offered the religion and the homeland, citing, in this regard, the issuance of a royal decree to pay a month's salary reward to each of the military personnel in action at in the front lines in the southern border of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Cabinet, then, issued the following decisions:
The Cabinet approved an agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Swiss Federal Council to avoid double taxation in respect of taxes on income and capital and to prevent tax evasion as well as the annexed protocol.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum of cooperation between the Civil Aviation Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Transport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the field of civil aviation security.
The Cabinet approved an agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Spain in the field of air transport.
The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding for technical cooperation in the field of civil aviation between the Civil Aviation Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Labor and Social Development or his deputy to discuss with the Tunisian side a draft memorandum of understanding in the fields of labor between the Ministry of Labor and Social Development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment of the Republic of Tunisia, sign it, and forward the final version for further authentication.
The Cabinet approved two agreements on employment of domestic workers and employment of public labor between the Ministry of Labor and Social Development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development of the Republic of Uganda.
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or his deputy, to sign a draft memorandum of understanding between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the Kingdom's contribution to the UNCTAD project to assist the Palestinian people.
The Cabinet approved to license Standard Chartered Bank to open a branch in the Kingdom, and authorized the Minister of Finance to decide on any subsequent request to open other branches in the Kingdom, provided that the Bank performs banking operations in accordance with the regulations in force in the Kingdom and that the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency shall coordinate with the Bank to complete the necessary legal procedures.
The Cabinet approved that the Saudi Railway Company (SAR) shall be the owner of all assets of rail transport projects between the Kingdom's cities.
The Cabinet approved amending the (Second) Article of the Health Endowment Fund Regulation, as set forth, in the details of the decision.
The Cabinet approved promotions to ranks 15 and 14, as follows:
- Salah bin Saad Al-Sadhan to the post of Administrative Counselor, (15th rank), at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.
- Ali bin Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Himaidan to the post of Director General of the Minister's Office, (15th rank), at the Ministry of Education.
- Nasser bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Kharaan to the post of Coordinator of Committee's Workings, (15th rank), at the Secretariat General of the Cabinet.
- Eng. Mansour bin Abdullah bin Saeed Al-Qahtani to the post of Architect Counselor, (14th rank), at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.
- Eng. Ayedh bin Ali bin Mohammed Al-Zahrani to the post of Undersecretary for Municipal Affairs, (14th rank), at the Mayoralty of Jeddah Governorate.
- Eng. Ibrahim bin Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al-Ghabban to the post of Architect Counselor, (14th rank), at the Mayoralty of Tabuk Region.
- Eng. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Ahmed Faqih to the post of Mining Counselor, (14th rank), at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.
- Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Atti to the post of Economic Expert, (14th rank), at the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.
The Cabinet was briefed and took notice of a number of general issues on its agenda and made instructions, towards them.