Vice Custodian Prince Sultan chairs Cabinet session, briefs members on latest regional, international developments

Prince Salman chairs King Abdulaziz Foundation meeting

Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz gives away Prince Sultan Water Prize on behalf of Vice Custodian

Prince Khalid bin Sultan opens 4th Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments

Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Yamamah Palace.

At the outset of the session, the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques thanked Allah Almighty for the success of the surgery the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud underwent to stabilize a number of spinal vertebrae in accordance with the treatment plan recommended by the medical team, praying to Allah Almighty to bestow good health on the king.

Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz expressed hope that the new year will be a year of benevolence and blessings for the Islamic and Arab nations and the whole world, wishing them to achieve peace, security and stability.

He also called again for working together to enhance relations among peoples, serve humanity and contribute to strengthening the values for which the various religions and cultures are calling. Among these religions is Islam which always calls for brotherhood, compassion, tolerance, and dissemination of the values of justice and love around the world.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja said the Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the meetings and contacts that took place during the previous week with a number of leaders of brotherly and friendly countries on regional and international developments, including the message the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques received from President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates.

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz wished all leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States all success during their 31st GCC Summit to be held in the United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on economic, scientific and social activities, praising the address of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud before the Gulf-African Investment Conference 2010 in which he called on GCC businessmen to establish genuine partnerships with their African counterparts.

Dr. Khoja added that the Cabinet expressed satisfaction over the results of the World Bank Annual Report on Doing Business 2010. In the field of attractive investment climate, it ranked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia first among Arab and Middle East countries and 11th among the 183 countries, surpassing advanced industrial countries.

Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet then reviewed a number of issues on its agenda and issued the following decisions:

The Cabinet approved a number of measures pertaining to a feasibility study on converting the Temporary Committee of Standardization and General Principles for Establishment of National Database for Geographic Information Systems into a standing committee named the National Committee of Geographic Information Systems.

The Cabinet approved an agreement for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of San Marino signed in New York 31/03/2009.

The Cabinet assigned to the Saudi wildlife Commission rather than the National Committee on Biodiversity the following two tasks, set forth in paragraphs (7 and 10) of Item (I) of the Cabinet Decision No. (245) dated 17/08/1429:

1- Working as a national liaison for Man and the Biosphere Program.

2- Participating in all international, regional and local meetings on Man and the Biosphere Program in addition to preparing reports and studies on the Kingdom's efforts in this field.

The Cabinet approved an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam signed in Riyadh 10/04/2010.

The Cabinet approved transferring and appointing the following:

1- Bandar bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Waeli to be transferred from the post of Planning Expert (Rank 15) to the post of Undersecretary of the Ministry (Rank 15) at the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

2- Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Saud Al-Dayel to be appointed to the post of Security Adviser (Rank 14) at the Ministry of Interior.

3- Jalawi bin Mohammed bin Amer Kurkuman to be appointed to the post of Director of Girls Education in Riyadh Province (Rank 14) at the Ministry of Education.

Meanwhile, Prince Salman Ibn Abdulaziz, the Governor of Riyadh Province, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, chaired a meeting of the Foundation.

The Board congratulated the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud following the successful surgery which he has recently undergone in the United States of America, also complemented Crown Prince Sultan Ibn Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General on his return home safely.

The board also commended the Saudi Leadership for supporting the Foundation and its activities in the service of the national history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, on behalf of Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Interior, patronized the giving away ceremony of Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz 4th International Prize for Water 2010.

At the venue, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was received by Prince Miqren bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs, who is also Chairman of the prize's board, and a number of officials.

Addressing the gathering, Prince Khalid bin Sultan reiterated his caution that water still faces scarcity, pollution, desertification and struggle, appealing to decision-makers in to pay more attention to water issue worldwide in general and in the Middle East in particular.

He stated that water crisis is in fact a maladministration crisis.

The prizes for the first and second fields were withheld this year, it was announced. Dr. Part Van Der Proghen from Belgium won the prize worth SR500,000 for the third field while Dr. Sorch Sorchian from the U.S. won the prize in the same amount for the fourth field.

The event was attended by a number of princes, ministers and officials.

Prince Sultan received at his palace in Riyadh Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prince Sultan International Prize for Water, and members of the board.

Prize laureates, who were announced and given away the awards the other day, were accompanying the delegation. On behalf of his colleagues, one of them thanked the Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on his initiative to launch this prize.

The audience was attended by Prince Dr. Mishaal bin Abdullah bin Musaed, Advisor to the Crown Prince, and senior protocol officials.

In Riyadh, under the patronage of Deputy Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the 4th International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments (2010) was opened at King Saud University by Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abduaziz, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector General for Military Affairs.

Prince Khalid delivered a speech on the occasion highlighting issues pertaining to water conservation and shortages.