Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prime Minister, chaired yesterday the Cabinet's virtual session.
At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques expressed profound condolence and sincere sympathy to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the people of Bahrain on the death of Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, praying to Allah Almighty to bestow mercy upon his soul.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the contents of the telephone call with President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, covering bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them in all fields.
The Cabinet extended sincere congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of his accession to the throne, citing the development and growth achieved during his prosperous era.
The Cabinet also noted the continuation of the process of reforms and output in all fields, the work for a bright future, enhancing the Kingdom’s pioneering position in the international community, the pivotal role it is undertaking during its current presidency of the G20 and its partnership at the international level.
The Cabinet highly valued the contents of the annual speech the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques delivered at the inauguration of the first year of the 8th session of the Shura Council, citing the contents and prudent vision covering the Kingdom’s internal and external policies as well as it positions towards the current political, economic and humanitarian issues.
The royal speech also covered the Kingdom’s contribution to achieve regional and international security and peace, its efforts to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic as well as to provide all kinds of comfort for pilgrims and Umrah performers.
The speech also set the ambitious goals of the country to reach enhancing its inclusive developmental march through economic diversity and proceed towards progress and prosperity according to the Kingdom’s Vison 2030 and decisively working to combat corruption.
The Cabinet lauded the speech of HRH the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, reviewing the unprecedented achievements the Kingdom reached in a short and speedy period at all levels and citing the qualitative leap that took place in new promising sectors and the progress reached as per the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The speech highlighted the accelerating growth over the last three years, including doubling the size of the Public Investments Fund from SR560 billion to more than SR1.3 trillion as well as the vast restructuring of a number of sectors aiming to enhance the state’s non-oil revenues, the success to curb the impact of coronavirus, determination to combat terror, extremism and corruption and increasing the rates of employment.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Acting Minister of Media, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, disclosed that the Cabinet expressed the Kingdom's aspiration to hold G20 Riyadh Summit next Saturday and Sunday to review and discuss policies and initiatives that would address the implications of the pandemic in order to restore hope and reassurance to the peoples with the aim of protecting lives and restoring global growth and jobs through solutions provided by the Kingdom's presidency in the short term to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to focusing on a stronger, more comprehensive, sustainable and solid recovery via focusing on the issues submitted by the Kingdom's presidency in the financial, monetary, economic and social fields. These joint policies and initiatives will contribute to achieve the presidency's objective to realize opportunities of the 21st Century for all through empowering individuals, protecting the planet and harnessing new horizons towards achieving the aspirations of the peoples around the world.
The Cabinet highlighted the statement issued by the Extraordinary Meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors under presidency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding agreement on a common framework aimed to facilitate timely and orderly debt treatment for Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), with broad creditors’ participation including the private sector in light of a continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic implications.
The Cabinet affirmed that the regulatory, structural and financial reforms in the electricity sector, which were approved by the Royal Order, will contribute to achieve the sustainability of raising the efficiency of the electricity sector in the Kingdom, adding that these reforms will positively reflect on the sector's performance in order to enable the increase in generation efficiency of plants, reduce the use of liquid fuels, raise the level of environmental commitment, and enable the production of electricity from renewable energy sources with the aim of achieving the goals of the optimal energy mix for the production of electricity, improving and transforming the distribution networks into smart and digital networks in order to enhance the reliability of the provided service.
The Cabinet reviewed the latest developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the local and international levels as well as the latest COVID19 statistics with regard to a decline in the levels of infection and spread as well as the critical cases with recording more recoveries bypassing the confirmed cases.
Dr. Al-Qasabi stated that the Cabinet renewed the Kingdom's condemnation of the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia's violations of the customary international laws through launching bomb-laden drones towards civilians in the Kingdom and an attempt to carry out a hostile and terrorist acts near a floating platform of a petroleum products distribution station in Jizan via using (2) bomb-laden Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs). The Cabinet affirmed that these terrorist acts target the security of petroleum exports, the stability of energy supplies to the world, the freedom of global trade, the global economy as a whole and the maritime navigation.
The Cabinet expressed its condemnation of terrorist acts in all forms and manifestations, including the attack in Jeddah Governorate and the shooting incident at the Kingdom's embassy in the Netherlands.
The Cabinet reviewed a number of issues and the latest developments at the regional and international arenas, expressing the Kingdom's government support for the measures taken by the Kingdom of Morocco to establish a freedom of civil and commercial movement in the Guerguerat buffer zone, Western Sahara. The Cabinet also expressed the government's condemnation of any practices that threaten traffic in this vital crossing point between Morocco and Mauritania. The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom's condemnation of the terrorist attack that targeted a military patrol in northeastern Burkina Faso and the missile attacks that targeted Asmara, Eritrea, affirming that these failed and cowardly terrorist acts require a serious stance to confront them and eliminate terrorism and extremist thought.
The Cabinet reviewed topics on its agenda, including some being co-studied by the Shura Council. The Cabinet was also briefed on the outcomes reached by the Economic and Development Affairs Council, the Political and Security Affairs Council, the General Committee of the Council of Ministers, and the Cabinet's Experts Commission with regard to the agenda.
The Cabinet issued the following decisions:
First: The Cabinet approved a headquarters agreement between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences.
Second: The Cabinet approved a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation, in the field of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, supplies and products as well as clinical studies between the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Iraq.
Third: The Cabinet approved to assign the presidency of the Saudi side in the two joint committees (South Africa and Tunisia) to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.
Forth: The Cabinet approved the social security system.
Fifth: The Cabinet approved the implementation of the two decisions issued by the 39th Session of the Supreme Council of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) to approve the unified guiding regulation for volunteer work, and the unified guiding regulation for empowering persons with disabilities in the GCC.
Sixth: The Cabinet approved appointing a number of members - representatives of the private sector - in the Board of Directors of the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones.
Seventh: The Cabinet approved a number of promotions at the 14th and 15th ranks and a post of Minister Plenipotentiary.
The Cabinet was briefed on a number of issues on its agenda and took relevant recommendations.