Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prime Minister, chaired yesterday the Cabinet's virtual session.
At the outset, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the cabinet on the content of a phone call he received from the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel, and their agreement to the necessity of fighting all forms of extremis and terrorism. Moreover, the King stressed the Kingdom's condemnation of terrorist acts that recently took place in France and Austria, denouncing the cartoons insulting the Messenger (PBUH) and the significance of consolidating rapprochement among followers of religions and civilizations.
The Cabinet valued the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques directives to send expedite medical, humanitarian and sheltering to the affected Turkish people, to mitigate the impacts of the recent earthquake that hit the Aegean Sea, through King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief). This comes from the King keenness to stand along the side of the fraternal Turkish people and to mitigate the fallouts, resulting in great losses in lives and properties and as an extension of the humanitarian role of the Kingdom all over the world.
The Cabinet praised the content of the joint statement of the meeting of HRH the Crown Prince, and the Iraqi Prime Minister. The joint statement confirmed the two brotherly countries' determination to strengthen relations in all fields, especially in the fields of energy. Moreover, exchanging experiences and coordination of positions in the oil field within the scope of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and OPEC Plus. Both sided agreed to full commitment to the decisions that have been agreed upon all, and the adoption of the results of the workings of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council in its fourth session as reached by the its committees. They also agreed on the joint work plan, and starting the implementation of the provisions of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area Agreement bilaterally between the two countries, forming a joint business council, in addition to continuing cooperation in facing the threat of extremism and terrorism.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Acting Minister of Media Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi pointed out that the Cabinet considered the Kingdom's launching of the initiative of promoting cooperation to protect underwater cultural heritage in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, during the joint meeting of G20 culture ministers, a reflection of its sensing of responsibilities to protect all forms of heritage. Moreover, a continuation of its wide-scale endeavors to conserve its heritage and back it up and to invest in cultural economy to contribute life improvement. The Kingdom will establish a world-class center, within the initiative and oversee administration, restoring and caring for the underwater cultural heritage, according to the best practice and world-class standards.
The Cabinet reviewed a set of reports on the developments of the Coronavirus pandemic, its developments at the local and international levels. The Cabinet also reviewed the findings of clinical trials of potential vaccines, and the latest recorded virus statistics and relevant indicators in the Kingdom. They also reviewed the positive trends in the levels and curves, and decline in critical cases and deaths due to the effectiveness of the proactive measures taken to protect citizens and expatriates and limit the spread of the pandemic, and the adherence by most members of society to preventive precautions, emphasis on the need to continue with them in light of the second wave of the virus recorded by the countries of the world.
Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi stated the Cabinet pointed to the role played by the security services and Saudi Customs in tracking the activities of the criminal networks that are involved in smuggling narcotic substances into the Kingdom and promoting them and thwarting their attempts, expressing its appreciation for their efforts to protect members of society from harms of drugs.
The Cabinet renewed its condemnation of the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia launching of booby-trapped drones towards the Kingdom and its targeting of civilians and civilian objects in a systematic and deliberate manner.
The Cabinet dealt with a number of issues and developments of regional and international events, reiterating the Kingdom's strong condemnation of the terrorist attack that took place in the Radwaniyah area in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, which led to a number of deaths and injuries. The Cabinet confirmed its rejection of these terrorist acts and its keenness on the security, territorial integrity, stability and prosperity of Iraq to contribute to achieving the security and stability of the region.
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 authorized the Minister of Interior - or his deputy - to discuss and sign with the Sudanese side a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of combating illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of Sudan.
Second: The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs - or his deputy - to establish diplomatic relations at a non-resident ambassador level between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Third: The Cabinet authorized Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance - or his deputy - to discuss and sign with the Ugandan side a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of Islamic affairs between the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Supreme Council of the Republic of Uganda.
Fourth: The Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of Human Resource Management and Civil Service between the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Personnel Management of the Republic of Korea.
Fifth: The Cabinet approved to amendment of the military officer and personnel service systems.
Sixth: The Cabinet assigned the barley import and sale to the private sector.
Seventh: The Cabinet approved a number of promotions at the 14th and 15th ranks.
The Cabinet was briefed on a number of issues on its agenda and took relevant recommendations.