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 Monday afternoon.
At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on his meetings and consultations with the leaders of the Group of Twenty in Antalya, during which they reviewed aspects of bilateral relations and areas of cooperation with the Kingdom, commending deep relations with these countries and keenness on developing and strengthening them in various fields.
The King commended the positive results achieved by the summit which will have a significant impact on enhancing closer cooperation between the countries of the Group of Twenty in all fields and accomplishing development and prosperity for the international community.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques expressed his thanks to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey for the warm reception and generous hospitality accorded to him and the accompanying delegation during his chairmanship of the Kingdom's delegation to the summit.
The Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session that the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on the latest developments at Arab, regional and international arenas, and appreciated the King's directives for the donation in the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support various development projects of "Digital good platform" aiming to collect donations from individuals around the world to serve international development projects and contribute to supporting and achieving sustainable development goals beyond 2015.
The Minister noted that the Cabinet was briefed on the results of the Ministerial Council of Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States in its 137th session held in Riyadh.
The Cabinet commended the positions of countries supporting the resolution drafted by the Kingdom condemning intervention in Syria, endorsed by the Committee of Human Rights of the General Assembly of the United Nations and agreed upon by 115 countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the return of the Yemeni legitimate government to Aden, the provisional capital of the Republic of Yemen, its direct supervision of extensive military operations to liberate the rest of the provinces from Houthi and coup militias, and the start of conducting the works of ministries to meet the needs of the society and administering the state's affairs, wishing for the Yemeni legitimate government all success in achieving security and stability for the Yemeni people.
The minister said that the Cabinet condemned the continuation of Israeli occupation authorities of arbitrary measures against the Palestinian people and the arrest operations of Palestinians in a number of provinces.
The Cabinet reconfirmed the Kingdom's strong condemnation of all terrorist acts, including the armed terrorist attack on a hotel in the Malian capital, Bamako, last Friday, killing and injuring scores of innocent people, confirming the Kingdom's firm position against terrorism whatever its kind, wherever it was, whatever its incentives or justifications or whoever stands behind it.
The Cabinet underscored the importance of "The future of energy in the Middle East and North Africa" forum organized by the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) in Manama, underlying the role being played by the Kingdom in the field of oil market stability and its continuing readiness to show cooperation with OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers and consumers to preserve the stability of oil market and prices.
The Cabinet commended the results of Arab Justice Ministers in their 31st session in Cairo under the Kingdom's chairmanship and their agreement on the need for decisive confrontation of the threat of terrorism, drying up its financing streams and establishing of an Arab Network for Judicial Cooperation to fight the plague which aims at destroying Arab societies.
On the local agenda, the Minister of Culture and Information said the Cabinet noted the great efforts being exerted by the Kingdom to allow Umrah performers to perform their rituals easily and in tranquility, follow-up all preparations, comprehensively enforce the technological and smart systems to facilitate measures for them coinciding with the start of Umrah season for this year, on Safar 01, 1437AH., citing the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to all pertinent agencies to provide all means of comfort and easiness for guests of Allah Almighty according to the integral operational plans.
The Cabinet stressed the importance of "Family Safety Program" organized by the Department of Health Affairs of the National Guard aiming at strengthening the role of family in the rejection of violence, extremism and terrorism and in illuminating the youths, parents and highlighting the positive values of the family. The Cabinet also noted the importance of holding the 4th symposium on electronic warfare, organized by Kingdom Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense in Riyadh, which aims at encouraging scientific research in the field of electronic war and get-acquainted to the different fields of modern knowledge and pioneering international experiences in the electronic warfare technologies.
The Cabinet was briefed on the works and outcomes of a number of conferences and symposia held in the Kingdom last week.
Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said the Cabinet was also briefed on the agenda of its meeting, including some already seen and forwarded to it by the Shura Council, and reported by each of the Cabinet General Committee and Experts Bureau. Accordingly, the Cabinet issued the following decisions:
First:
The President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage or his deputy are authorized to discuss with the U.S. side a draft memorandum on cooperation in the field of urban heritage between the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of the state of New Mexico, U.S.A., sign it and forward the final version for remaining legal procedures.
Second:
The Cabinet passed, upon recommendation of the Shura Council, the undeveloped urban lands system. According to the new measure, an annual fee worth 2.5% of the value of any empty plot of land initially allotted for residential or commercial usage inside the city's urban zone for the benefit of a person or more, or non-governmental legal personality will be levied from the owner/s. The executive regulation of the system will fix the standard of how to estimate the land's value and the timetable for gradually imposing the charges, as well as the necessary regulations that guarantee its fair implementation and prevention of evading paying it. The levied fees will be deposited at a special account at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency which will be, in turn, appropriated for disbursing on housing projects and providing them with public utilities and service supply. According to the decision, the Cabinet will issue a new updated decision within 180 days based on the system's executive regulation, to be issued by the Ministry of Housing in collaboration with relevant bodies. The new system will go into force after 180 days from publishing it in the official gazette.
Third:
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Justice or his deputy to discuss with the Belorussian side the draft memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Justice of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belorussia in the judicial and legal fields, sign it and forward the final version for completing the legal procedure.
Fourth:
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Finance or his deputy to sign a draft agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Kenya on taxes on income and prevention of tax evasion and forward the final version for completing the legal procedure.
Fifth:
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to discuss with the Ghanaian side a draft general agreement on cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Ghana, sign it and forward the final version for completing the legal procedure.
Sixth:
The Cabinet approved amendments endorsed by the International Maritime Organization on July 1, 2012 on the sixth appendix of the international agreement to prevent sea pollution caused by vessels 1973.
Seventh:
The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Education or his deputy to discuss a draft general agreement on cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UNESCO in the field of establishing a training course for beginner vocational engineers, sign it and forward the final version for completing the legal procedure.
Eighth:
The Cabinet approved the executive regulation detailing the real estate expropriation for public use system as well as the temporary seizure of real estate.
Ninth:
Upon recommendations of the General Establishment for Pensions and the Shura Council decision No. 64/34 dated 9/7/1436 H, the Cabinet approved the inclusion of the service of whoever falls under Para I of the Cabinet's decision No. 368 dated 18/4/1392 H. which falls after 1/7/1388 H. up to 1/7/1435 H. because of retirement, provided that he/she was on a regular position. This will be in force until a new updated decision based on a study issued by the (abrogated) Civil Service Council on the situations of the companions, their heads and aides referred to in Para I of the legal, regulatory and financial aspects is issued or until 1/7/1440 H. which is first.
The Cabinet was briefed on the annual report of the Ministry of Economy and Planning for the fiscal year 1434 / 1435 H. It took the necessary instructions.