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 expressed his thanks and appreciation to Kings, Presidents, Emirs, Premiers and Ministers, the leaders and representatives of the countries who attended the closing maneuver of North Thunder Exercise and the military parade of Saudi Armed Forces and the participating forces from sisterly countries, confirming that the exercise showed keenness to strengthen military ties between the brothers and friends and maintain the security and stability by raising the level of combating readiness and assessing the ability to manage military operations aiming to achieve the unity of ranks and ward off dangers facing Arab and Islamic nations. 

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the outcomes of his receptions of Kings, Presidents, Emirs, Premiers and Ministers who came to attend the closing maneuver of North Thunder Exercise and the military parade; his talks held on the sidelines of the closing maneuver with Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of State of Kuwait, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Arab Republic of Egypt, Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif; the message received from the President of Republic of Guinea-Bissau; and the outcomes of his meetings with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, United States Secretary of State John Kerry, and European Union Special Representative for Middle East Peace Process Fernando Jntleyna. 

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 congratulated the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the Crown Prince and the Deputy Crown Prince on the success of the closing maneuver of North Thunder Exercise and the military parade associated with the exercise with the participation of Saudi Armed Forces and forces from a number of countries in the presence of Kings, Presidents, Emirs, Premiers and Ministers, the leaders and representatives of 20 sisterly countries, commending all efforts exerted by the concerned authorities to organize the exercise which achieved its planned objectives where all participants exerted outstanding efforts to carry out the tasks and duties assigned to them in this exercise which has enjoyed regional and international interest. 

Dr. Altoraifi said that the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on the latest developments on Arab, Islamic and international arenas, and commended the results of the 5th joint meeting between Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States and their counterparts of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Morocco; the common Ministerial meeting with Deputy Premier and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Yemen; the meetings of the 138th session of the Council and the 24th meeting of the Ministers of Information of the GCC's member countries, and what has been included in the final statements of firm positions and visions on various events, and what has been expressed towards the ongoing progress in joint action and coordination of positions and efforts in this regard.

The Cabinet praised the decisions issued by the 145th session of the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers recently concluded in Cairo, stressing that the Arab League Council's decision on considering the so-called "Hezbollah" as a terrorist organization and denunciation of Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries embodies keenness to combat terrorism and counter whoever supports it or tries to stir up sectarian strife to undermine security and stability in contravention of good neighborliness and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the international law.

The Cabinet also pointed, in this regard, to the Arab Interior Ministers' condemnation and denunciation, in their meeting recently held in Tunisia of the dangerous practices and activities of the terrorist "Hezbollah" to destabilize security and social peace in a number of Arab states.

The Cabinet welcomed the recommendations and resolutions issued by the Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Palestine recently held in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 6 - 7, 2016, and its appeal to the whole world that the worrying increase in the armed conflicts in the Muslim world and violent extremism shouldn't distract international attention from the cause of Palestine and Al-Quds, which should remain the core question of the Islamic nation.

The Cabinet expressed its strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack, which took place in the Turkish capital, Ankara and resulted in victims and injuries, describing it as a criminal act being contrary to all human and moral values and principles, expressing its heartfelt condolences to the Turkish Republic; government, people and families of the victims.

The Cabinet also condemned the terrorist attack that targeted military and civilian facilities in the Tunisian town of Ben Guerdane and denounced the terrorist attack against the beach resort of "Grand Bassam" in Ivory Coast that resulted in the deaths of many innocent people, expressing its condolences to the two Republics of Tunisia and Ivory Coast and the families of the victims, and reiterating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's solidarity with all in combating and eradicating this dangerous phenomenon, stressing its firm positions to condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations whatever might be its motives, justifications and sources, and the need to eliminate it and dry the sources of its financing.

Concerning domestic affairs, the Cabinet stressed the contents of the statement of the Ministry of Interior to confirm that any citizen or expatriate may support the so-called "Hezbollah", sympathize, promote, donate, communicate, accommodate or cover whoever may belong to it, he or she shall be subject to severe penalties according to the applied laws, regulations and orders, including anti-terrorism crimes and its financing regulation, in addition to the deportation of any expatriate if found guilty of such actions.

The Cabinet also hailed the ongoing efforts being exerted by the security authorities to pursue and track down the wanted and those involved in the activities of the deviant group and the eradication of their criminal schemes, including those involved in the treacherous crime targeted one of the security men, and one of those involved in participating in firing on worshipers in Al-Mustafa mosque in Al-Dalwah village as well as in the suicide bombing which targeted worshipers at the mosque of Special Emergency Force in Asir region

The Cabinet also expressed its thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for his care, attention and support for culture, science and knowledge, commending, in this context, the inauguration of Riyadh International Book Fair under his patronage in which (1,200,000) titles from Arab and international countries have participated through more than 500 publishing houses in addition to the official pavilions of a number of government sectors and interested societal organizations in culture and book under the title "The Book: Anti-Aging Memory"

Dr. Altoraifi noted that the Cabinet reviewed topics on its agenda, including topics co-shared by the Shura Council in their studies, and decided the following:

First: The Cabinet authorized the Crown Prince, Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior and Supervisor of Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution - or his deputy - to discuss with the Russian side a draft memorandum of cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Russian Federation in the field of investigation and public prosecution, sign it and submit the final version for statutory procedures.

Second: The Cabinet authorized the Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense - or his deputy - to discuss with both Bosnian and South African sides two draft agreements between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on one hand, and the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Government of Republic of South Africa on cooperation in the field of defense, sign them, and submit the final versions for statutory procedures.

Third: After reviewing the report of Minister of Finance and considering the Shura Council's resolution No. (56/30) dated 25/06/1436 AH, the Cabinet approved the memorandum of understanding on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance between Saudi Customs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Customs Department of Republic of Korea signed in Seoul city on 10/01/1436 AH. A royal decree has been prepared in this regard.

Forth: The Cabinet approved a number of procedures pertaining to finding alternatives to fodder and increasing the efficiency of paying for the fodder.

Fifth: The Cabinet approved the Air Services Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Burkina Faso, which was signed in Jeddah on 10/07/1436.

Sixth: The Cabinet approved an amendment to the regulation of Human Rights Commission, which was issued by the Cabinet's Resolution No. (207) dated 08/08/1426.

Seventh: The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:

1- Suleiman bin Dakhil bin Mohammed Al-Qashami appointed to the post of Administrative Advisor (Rank 15) at the Islamic University.

2- Yusuf bin Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Luhaidan appointed to the post of Advisor for Citizens Affairs (Rank 14) at the Ministry of National Guard.

3- Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Fahd Al-Saab appointed to the post of Director General of Financial Affairs (Rank 14) at the Air Defense Forces of the Ministry of Defense.

4- Mohammed bin Abdulwahhab bin Mohammed Ali Noqali, Musaed bin Mohammed bin Saad Al-Basri, Muhanna bin Saleh bin Abdulaziz Aba Al-Khail and Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Ali Abduldaim appointed to the posts of Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

5- Ahmad bin Abdulaziz bin Ahmed Al-Dulaijan appointed to the post of Director General of the Board's Branch in Madinah Region (Rank 14) at the Control and Investigation Board.

The Cabinet was briefed on the annual reports of the Ministry of Hajj and the Control and Investigation Board.