The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prime Minister, chaired the cabinet's virtual session on Tuesday.
At the outset of the meeting, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques was reassured of the complete preparedness of the agencies, concerned with serving pilgrims, to provide the highest level of care for them during the Hajj season this year and to make sure they perform the rituals in a safe and healthy environment. The agencies will provide pilgrims with all means of comfort and ensure their security and safety from the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the cabinet on the content of his official talks with Sultan Haitham bin Tarik of the Sultanate of Oman, who has recently paid an official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The official talks included discussing aspects of joint cooperation and ways to enhance and develop them, praising the cooperation and coordination achieved contributing to strengthening security and stability for the two brotherly countries, including the signing of a memorandum to establish the Saudi-Omani Coordination Council. Furthermore, a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding in various fields were concluded, raising the economic cooperation by stimulating the public and private sectors to reach qualitative trade and investment exchanges that contribute to achieving the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and Sultanate's Vision 2040, and emphasizing the strengthening of cooperation in areas of environment, food security as well as the Green Middle East Initiative due to its benefit at local, regional and global levels.
On behalf of the acting minister of media, the minister of state and member of the cabinet, Dr. Issam bin Saad bin Saeed, said in a statement to the Saudi press agency (SPA) that the cabinet addressed the statement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the conclusion of consultations on Article 4, emphasizing the continuing recovery of the Saudi economy and praising its outstanding success in several aspects, citing a most difficult year on the whole world in view of the repercussions of the COVID-19 Pandemic, fluctuations in oil prices, a decline of its global demand and a slowdown in growth, which reflects the prominent role of the economic and structural reforms carried out within the framework of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and its contribution to achieving sustainable and comprehensive economic growth.
The cabinet considered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia winning the chairmanship of the executive council of Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), as a continuation of its pivotal role, and keenness to achieve the goals of the organization.
The cabinet reviewed the latest developments regionally and globally, reiterating the Kingdom's support for Egypt and Sudan to preserve their legitimate river water rights, calling on the international community to find a clear mechanism to re-start negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to find a solution to this crisis in order to achieve the interests of the three Nile river basin countries, under international auspices and in agreement with the African Union and the Arab League.
The cabinet was briefed on issues on its agenda, some of which were co-studied by the Shura council, including outcomes reached by each of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, the Council of Political and Security Affairs, the Cabinet's General Committee and the Cabinet's Bureau of Experts.
The cabinet issued the following decisions:
First: The cabinet authorized the minister of interior, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft memorandum of understanding in the field of civil protection and civil defense between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Italy.
Second: The cabinet authorized the minister of foreign affairs, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft memorandum of understanding regarding political consultations between the ministry of foreign affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Kenya.
Third: The cabinet approved a general agreement on cooperation between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Chad.
Fourth: The cabinet authorized the minister of culture, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft memorandum of understanding in the field of culture between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Italy.
Fifth: The cabinet authorized the acting minister of media, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi broadcasting authority, to discuss and sign a memorandum of understanding in the field for cooperation in the field of radio between the Saudi Broadcasting Authority and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, within the framework of the Saudi-Zambian joint committee.
Sixth: The cabinet authorized the minister of environment, water and agriculture, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft memorandum of understanding in the field of plant quarantine and plant protection between the ministry of environment, water and agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Seventh: The cabinet authorized the minister of investment, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Special Economic Cities and Zones Authority, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft memorandum of understanding between the Special Economic Cities and Zones Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its counterparts in other countries.
Eighth: The cabinet approved converting the General Syndicate of Cars into a company.
Ninth: The supervisory committee for the Privatization of the Environment, Water and Agriculture sector is allowed to contract with a company (or companies) to implement the Ja’arana project for strategic storage in Makkah region.
Tenth: The cabinet approved the implementation of the decision of the supreme council of the Gulf Cooperation Council - issued in its (41st) session held in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia- to adopt an agreement on linking payment systems among the countries of the GCC.
Eleventh: The cabinet appointed two members to the board of directors of Zakat, Tax, and Customs Authority, as representatives of the private sector.
Twelfth: The cabinet approved two promotions at the 14th and 15th ranks.
The cabinet was briefed on a number of issues on its agenda and took relevant recommendations.