Second Deputy Prime Minister chairs Cabinet session (3/10/14)

March 10, 2014

Second Deputy Prime Minister Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh this afternoon. The Cabinet began by stressing the importance of the correct understanding of the teachings of Islam, which reject dissension, extremism and the politicization of religion for partisan purposes. They affirmed the statement issued by the Ministry of Interior calling on Saudis fighting abroad to return home within a 15-day grace period.

After being briefed on the latest regional and international developments, the Cabinet reaffirmed the need for the international community to support Lebanon in confronting the problems that threaten its security and stability. It also reiterated the Kingdom’s condemnation of the recent terrorist bombing in the Bahraini village of Daih. Reviewing the latest Arab summits, the ministers welcomed the final statements issued by the 130th session of the Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the 141st session of the Foreign Ministers of the Arab League (AL).

Next, the Cabinet appealed to the international community, represented by the UN Human Rights Council, to exert greater efforts to protect and promote human rights and to address the horrific abuses occurring in conflict zones. In particular, it cited reports on the crimes against humanity being committed in Syria, where more than 140,000 people have died and more than 2.5 million have been forced to flee the country. It demanded the immediate implementation of the relevant decisions of the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council to bring those responsible to international justice.

The Council then discussed various cultural, social and economic issues. It reviewed the events held inside the Kingdom last week, including the Riyadh International Book Fair and the launch of a national campaign to promote values, entitled “Our Homeland Is A Responsibility.” It also expressed appreciation for the upgrade in the Kingdom’s sovereign rating by Fitch Ratings, from AA- to AA, which confirms the nation’s economic strength and stability.

Turning to its remaining agenda items, the Cabinet approved several recommendations of the Higher Committee for Administrative Organization on the organizational structures of the provinces and centers; approved the re-formation of the Board of Directors of Al-Balad Al-Ameen Company for Development and Urban Development; approved the joining of a representative from the Ministry of the National Guard and a representative of the Ministry of Finance to the Standing Committee of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority on international humanitarian law; approved regulations and procedures of the committees of insurance irregularities and disputes settlement; approved 21 members of the High Commission for the Settlement of Labor Disputes; and authorized the President of the King Abdullah City for Science and Technology (KACST) to sign a draft memorandum of understanding with China’s National Space Administration for cooperation in the field of space science and technology.

The Cabinet approved the appointments of Abdullah Al-Qarni as Advisor for Technical Affairs at Jeddah Principality (15th rank); Saleh Al-Ahmad as Mayor of Qassim Region at Qassim Principality (15th rank); Yassen Qarmli as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Saud Hakeem as Undersecretary of Mayor for Services at Madinah Principality (14th rank); and Turki Mofareh as Director General of Water in Asir Region at the Ministry of Water and Electricity (14th rank).

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