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 the two phone calls received from the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister of Britain David Cameron, and the outcomes of his receptions of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu, the Commander of United States Central Command, Indonesian Minister of Defense, Malaysian Minister of Defense, Deputy Minister of Defense of Sultanate of Brunei, commending deep bilateral relations between the Kingdom and these countries, the seeking of all for their development and enhancement in various fields, and the keenness on all matters to achieve peace and stability in the region and the world.
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 condemned the terrorist bombing incident that targeted Al-Ridha mosque in Ahsa Governorate during the worshipers' performance of Friday prayer, which resulted in the martyrdom and wounding a number of citizens and security men, expressing its condolences to the families of the martyrs, praying to Allah Almighty for bestowing His mercy upon the martyrs and for a quick recovery for the injured, stressing that this criminal act is considered as killing and corruption on the earth, deviation from the teachings of the Islamic religion, contrary to humanitarian values and principles, and confirming the Kingdom's firm positions in fighting terrorism and deviating ideas, and that what happened will increase the Kingdom's strength and determination to eradicate the scourge of terrorism and the evils of this transgressing group.
The Cabinet commended the security authorities through their ongoing investigations to reach the results revealing the stages of the criminal cowardly act which targeted worshipers at the Mosque of Command of Special Forces in Asir region, expressing its appreciation for the security men for their achievements in maintaining security and safety of the Kingdom's citizens and residents.
The Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on the latest developments in the region and the world and the international efforts being exerted regarding them, reconfirming the Kingdom's support for the decision of High Negotiating Commission of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Powers in Riyadh to participate in the negotiations of Geneva Conference for the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254 with all its provisions, stressing the Kingdom's position in support of the Syrian opposition and the political solution based on the principles of Geneva Declaration 1 included in the resolution of the Security Council , and its continuing full and unconditional support for the Syrian people to meet their needs, alleviate their sufferings and realize their aspirations to preserve Syria's unity, territorial integrity and the rights of its citizens.
The Cabinet welcomed the statement issued by the Command of Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen in which it announced the formation of a high level independent team consisting of senior officers, military advisers and experts with efficiency and competence in the field of weapons and the international humanitarian law to assess the accidents, verification procedures and used targeting mechanism and develop it, and what was expressed by the statement of sorrow for the issuance of media reports and allegations by human rights organizations claiming casualties among civilians as a result of the bombing of the coalition as baseless and not based on any evidence or hard proof, in addition to the call from the coalition command to accurately and professionally investigate before spreading such claims and the use of reliable sources and respectable evidence.
The Cabinet also stressed what has been confirmed by the Kingdom in its speech before the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East that the Palestinian cause was and is still at the forefront of the concerns of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Kingdom's call at the Security Council to set up an international protection system on the occupied Palestinian state including Al-Quds, in accordance with Fourth Geneva Convention and the related resolutions of international legitimacy, and that no matter how difficulties and challenges have swept the Arab region, the Kingdom will never be distracted or preoccupied from the stand by the Palestinian people in their steadfastness and continuous defense of their land and holy places in addition to resisting Israel's occupation and its colonial practices and violations contrary to international legitimacy.
On domestic affairs, the Council of Ministers extended thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his interest in the national heritage, stressing that his patronage of the opening ceremony of the 30th session of Festival of National Heritage and Culture at Al-Janadriyah on next Wednesday, to be organized by the Ministry of National Guard, embodies his keenness and care of knowledge and culture and its importance in nation-building, as well as his unlimited support for loyalty to the Kingdom's history.
The Cabinet was also briefed on the issues listed on its agenda, including the topics co-shared in their study with the Shura Council and decided the following:
First :
The Cabinet decided to amend the regulations of Public Pension Agency and Human Resources Development Fund, by adding a member to be nominated by the Council of Economic Affairs and Development in both the Boards of Directors of the Agency and the Fund.
Second:
The Cabinet authorized the President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage - or his deputy - to discuss with the Argentine side a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of tourism between the Commission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Argentina and sign it, before submitting its final signed version for the completion of regular procedures.
Third:
After review of a report by of Minister of Finance and after consideration of the Shura Council's resolution No. (104/58) dated 07/01/1437 H., the Cabinet approved an agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia for the avoidance of double taxation with respect to taxes on income and prevention of tax evasion, which was signed in Riyadh on 02/23/1436 AH.
A royal decree has been prepared for this purpose.
Fourth:
After review of what has been submitted of report by the Ministry of Education regarding the reorganization of the joining process of membership of the mission for students studying at their own expenses and development of regulations of joining the students studying abroad at their own expense to the educational mission approved by the Royal Order No. (7 / B / 5601) dated 22/4 / 1418 AH, and after consideration of recommendations to the Council of Economic Affairs and Development No. (7/36) and dated 01/12/1436 AH and No. (1-6/37 / T) dated 06/02/1437 AH., the Cabinet approved the introduction of a number of amendments to the regulations joining students studying abroad at their own expenses to the educational mission.
- Fifth : The Cabinet approved an agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the French Republic on the mutual exemption of short-term stay visa for holders of diplomatic and special passports (for Saudi nationals only) and service (for French nationals only), signed in Riyadh on 06/23/1436 AH, and a royal order has been prepared for that.
- Sixth : The Cabinet approved a framework memorandum for cooperation in the field of creative economy and society based on knowledge between King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Science, Information Technology, Communication and Future Planning of the Republic of Korea, signed in Riyadh on 05/12/1436 AH, and a royal decree has been prepared for that .
- Seventh : The Cabinet approved the organizational structure of the Saudi Press Agency.
- Eighth : The Cabinet approved appointments as follows :
1 - Ahmad bin Hamad bin Salim al-Balawi as Administrative Advisor ( rank fifteenth) at Ministry of Finance.
2 - Ziad Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Drees as Educational Advisor (rank fifteenth) at Ministry of Education.
3 - Prince Khalid bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
4 - Dr. Awad bin Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Awad as Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
5 - Khalid bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al-Sughayar as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
6 - Abdulaziz bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al-Mutawiye' as Assistant Undersecretary for Courts Affairs at the Ministry of Justice ( rank fourteenth).
7 - Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman bin Faleh Al-Faleh as Director General of the Minister's Office at the Ministry of Water and Electricity (rank fourteenth).
8 - Dr. Saad bin Abdullah bin Issa Khalil as Director General of King Abdulaziz Center for Arab Horses at the Ministry of Agriculture (rank fourteenth).
The Cabinet was briefed on the annual reports of the Committee of Real Estate Contributions, General Organization of Saudi Arabian Air Lines, and Irrigation and Sanitation Authority in Ahsa for the previous fiscal years and issued its directives towards them.