Crown Prince chairs Cabinet session

February 10, 2014

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh this afternoon. At the outset, the Council praised the royal order issued last Monday by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz directing that those guilty of participating in foreign hostilities or belonging to extremist groups receive prison sentences. The ministers agreed that the order is necessary to protect the Kingdom’s security, unity and religion against foreign conflicts and radical movements.

Turning to international issues, the Crown Prince briefed the Cabinet on his recent talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Hazem Al-Beblawi, highlighting the strength of the ties binding the Kingdom and Egypt.

Regarding the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the ministers condemned the latest decision by Israel to build 558 new housing units in East Al-Quds [Jerusalem]. They confirmed the Kingdom’s continuous commitment to supporting the Palestinian people, both financially and through international organizations.

On the domestic front, the Cabinet commended the ongoing preparations for the 29th annual National Festival for Heritage and Culture in Janadriyah, which will be opened later this week. It also expressed its deepest condolences to the families of those who died in a fire that struck a hotel in Madinah on Saturday and wished a speedy recovery to all the injured.

Turning to its remaining agenda items, the Cabinet approved several regulations regarding penalties for the smuggling of weapons and ammunition to be administered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s Unified Customs system; authorized the President of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) to sign a draft memorandum of understanding with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; authorized the Minister of Finance to sign two draft agreements on the avoidance of double taxation and tax evasion with Egypt and Sweden; and authorized the Minister of Transport to sign an agreement regarding the organization of shipping goods on land roads across the Arab states.