Crown Prince chairs Cabinet session (7/21/14)

July 21, 2014

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz chaired the Cabinet session at Al-Salam palace in Jeddah this evening. At the outset, the Cabinet was briefed on the talks held by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz last week with Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, and Omani Deputy Prime Minister for Cabinet Affairs Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Saeed, as well as the consultations held between Crown Prince Salman and Bahraini Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa.

The Cabinet then reviewed a number of reports relating to regional and international developments, focusing particularly on the tragic situation in the Gaza Strip. Reiterating the Kingdom’s call for the world community to take action to stop Israel’s brutal aggression against the Palestinians, the ministers warned of the tragic consequences of the unchecked war crimes taking place. They welcomed the statement issued by the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers following a meeting at Arab League headquarters last week, which stressed the importance of international action to protect the Palestinian people.

Next, the Cabinet discussed several matters pertaining to domestic affairs. It praised the comfort and security provided to Umrah (minor pilgrimage) performers and visitors to the Prophet’s Mosque, as ordered by King Abdullah. The ministers also cited the benefits enjoyed by pilgrims in Makkah as a result of the expansion of the Grand Mosque.

Addressing its remaining agenda items, the Cabinet gave approval for the current Municipal Councils to proceed with their duties according to the regulations governing them until new councils are formed. The new regulations extends voting rights and eligibility as candidates to female citizens and allows independent national non-governmental organizations the right to monitor elections to guarantee transparency and fairness.  The Cabinet also approved the insertion of a number of amendments to the regulations preventing non-Saudis from dealing with the housing of pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors to Prophet’s Mosque; approved the licensing of the General Investment Fund to establish, alone or with partners from the public or private sectors, companies inside or outside of the Kingdom; assigned the Saher traffic-monitoring company with monitoring public transport violations, provided that most of the workforce be selected from Saudi citizens; and approved that the Stock Market Authority create the opportunity for foreign financial institutions to purchase and sell stocks listed on the Saudi stock market.