Saudi cabinet praises efforts exerted to unify Arab ranks

Cabinet stresses need for cooperation to remove injustice off Palestinians, stand firmly against Israel’s assaults on Muslim sanctities

Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz inaugurates Saudi Forum for Travel and Tourist Investment

Several deviant though followers renounce takfiri ideology

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the cabinet's session.

At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the cabinet on messages, contacts and meetings he held last week with a number of leaders of countries on bilateral relations and various issues in the region and the world including the message he sent to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the two phone calls with Egyptian President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak and US President Barack Obama and his meeting with Prince Charles of Wales.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Khojah said the cabinet carefully followed the development at the Arab arena expressing hope that the 22nd Arab Summit held in Libya will boost joint ties and ways of cooperation and coordination among the Arab countries to face all hurdles standing in the way of its crucial causes.

The cabinet hailed the Arab countries' efforts to overcome all obstacles to achieve Arab unity and serve causes of Arab countries and peoples especially the Palestinian cause, stressing the need for mobilizing efforts to lift the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people and to firmly stand against repeated Israeli attacks on them and on the Islamic holy places in the occupied Palestinian lands.

The Minister of Culture and Information said the cabinet reviewed a host of activities that took place in the kingdom last week praising the visit by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General, to the Eastern Region, and the patronization by Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the final ceremony of Prince Naif competition for memorization of the Prophet's Hadith held in Madinah and his patronization of the conference on terrorism held in Madinah as well.

The Cabinet expressed appreciation for the great and constant efforts by the brave security men in confronting people of the deviant thought, valuing their success in arresting elements that built a network targeting national installations and security men.

The Minister of Culture and Information said the cabinet discussed items on its agenda and issued the following decisions:

First, to boost cooperation with Central Asian countries, the cabinet approved a number of measures including:

1- The General Authority of Investment, the Ministry of Higher Education, the General Authority of Tourism and Antiquities, the General Authority of Technological and Vocation Training, King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, and King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology shall discuss preparing draft agreements and memorandums of cooperation or understanding with concerned authorities of Central Asian countries with which the kingdom has not signed any agreement for achieving the common interests between the kingdom and these countries.

2- The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Council of the Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Saudi Development Fund and relevant authorities shall promote Saudi products and services and benefit from the services of the Saudi Exports Program in the field of financing and guaranteeing Saudi exports to Central Asian countries.

Second, the cabinet approved a cooperation agreement in the judicial field between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and The Sudan signed in Khartoum on 15/1/1430 H. corresponding to 12/1/2009 G.

Third, concerning the rules proposed by the General Authority of Social Insurance on paying the high costs of living allowance, the cabinet decided the following:

1- Saudi pensioners and earners and their families shall be granted a high costs of living allowance of (5 per cent) annually for a period of three years effective the first month following the adoption of this resolution along the lines of what has been approved regarding the retirees of the State issued in their regard Resolution No. (11) Dated 19/1/1429 AH of the Council of Ministers.

2- The calculation of the allowance shall be based on a maximum of the first (twenty five thousand) riyals of the pensions and earnings.

3- After the end of three years, this allowance shall be subject to what will be decided on the allowance of the retirees of the State referred to in paragraph (1) above.

Fourth, having considered the recommendations of the Standing Committee of the Supreme Economic Council, dated 29/12/1430 H., the Cabinet approved the licensing of the establishment of the Wadi Alriyadh company, the Wadi Jeddah and the Wadi Dhahran Technology company as joint-stock companies in accordance with the statutes of the attached resolutions.

The aim of the three companies above is to actively contribute to the development of the knowledge economy through partnership between educational and research institutions and the business community and investment on a commercial basis through investment in joint ventures that would refine the experience and practical practice of university students and teachers. In order to achieve their objectives, they may carry out a number of measures including the following:

1- Investment in the industry of technology transfer and development,

2- Preparation of university students to work in the private sector through training, rehabilitation and provision of job opportunities during their academic study,

3- Attracting domestic and foreign investment to participate in supporting the goals of the company and cooperation with bodies, companies and institutions engaged in similar or complementing activities.

Fifth:

The cabinet approved a license to establish the Company of the American International Group and the Arab National Bank for Cooperative Insurance in accordance with its statute annexed to the resolution.

Sixth:

The Cabinet approved appointments at the fourteenth rank as follows:

1 - Eng. Saleh bin Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al Alsheikh is appointed to the position of (civil engineer consultant) at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs,

2 - Abdulrahman bin Saad bin Abdul Rahman Al-Daoud is appointed to the position of (Assistant Secretary-General) at the Supreme Judicial Council,

3 - Abdulaziz bin Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al-Mishaal is appointed to the position of (editing consultant) at the Commission of Experts at the Council of Ministers.

Meanwhile, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh province, patronize in Riyadh this week the inaugural ceremony of Saudi Forum for Travel and Tourism Investment, due to be organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.

The Five-day Forum is focusing on recruitment in tourism sector and the impact of tourism industry on the national economy.

More than 114 travel and tourism investment companies will participate in the exhibition due to be organized on the fringes of the Forum.

On the other hand, Speaker of the Shura Council Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh said extremism and extravagance as ways of thinking lead to terrorism, particularly the rejection of opposite views by those who claim that they are always correct and others are always wrong.

In a statement to highlight the 'Terror between thought's extremism and the thought of extremism' conference, ongoing in the Madinah-based Islamic University, Al Al-Sheikh said Islam prohibited aggression against other's blood, property and honor.

He said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was one of the victims of the deviant thought and terrorism but thanks to the prudent and firm policy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; his Crown Prince; and the Second Deputy Premier and to the bravery of the security forces, the deviant group was defeated.

He paid tribute to the comprehensive strategy adopted by the Saudi authorities to face terrorism, including conduction of dialogue, provision of advice and correction of wrong notions through symposia and lectures.

He said the Saudi experience in fighting terrorism is now a novel narrated by intellectuals and studied by strategists outside.