Crown Prince Naif chairs cabinet session, welcomes Prince Salman’s participation

Prince Naif affirms Saudi Arabia will do whatever it can to make hajj rituals easier for all Muslims

Defense Minister Prince Salman discusses with French FM regional developments, boosting bilateral relations

Saudi Naval Forces enhance cooperation with Bahrain’s navy

Crown Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, chaired the Cabinet's session which was held at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh.

At the outset of the session, the Crown Prince welcomed into the Cabinet Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense to the Cabinet, wishing him all success.

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince expressed thanks to Allah Almighty for the ease and comfort with which pilgrims have performed Hajj rituals this year.

Prince Naif also thanked the staff of all governmental and private bodies who participated in serving pilgrimage on their efforts which led to the success of the plans of this Hajj season.

The Crown Prince said: 'This is a great honor for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people which casts the responsibility on everyone to redouble efforts towards this great responsibility to serve the Two Holy Mosques, holy sites, pilgrims and Umrah visitors, reiterating that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will spare no effort in order to facilitate Hajj rituals for every Muslim.'

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohieddin Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information, said the Cabinet extended congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince for the success of this Hajj season.

The Cabinet also highly appreciated the orders issued by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in appointing a number of princes in new posts, describing those orders and decisions as wise and successful, and came in the interests of the homeland and citizens as well as in meeting the aspirations of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince.

Then, Dr. Khoja said that the Cabinet discussed the developments in a number of Arab countries and the latest developments at Arab, regional, and international arenas.

The Cabinet hailed the efforts exerted by the Arab League at the level of Arab foreign ministers on the situation in Syria, stressing the importance of providing protection for Syrian civilians and stopping the killing and violence.

The Cabinet called on the Syrian government to fully implement the commitments agreed upon under the Arab Action Plan to resolve the Syrian crisis which was adopted by the council in its meeting of November 2.

The Minister pointed out that the cabinet welcomed the General Assembly of the United Nations' adoption of the resolution submitted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to condemn terrorist attacks against those enjoying international protection, stressing that the approval of the resolution, drafted by the Kingdom and the sponsoring countries, with a majority of one hundred and six countries, embodies the firm commitment to strengthening international cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; reflects the international position of the Kingdom and its commitment to international conventions and international norms; and emphasizes its remarkable positions in the fight against terrorism and condemnation of those who sponsor it.

The cabinet condemned the decision by the Israeli authorities to speed up construction of housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in response to Palestine's winning of the full membership of the Organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), stressing that such Israeli practices challenge the will and efforts of the international community, and reveal the Israeli hidden intentions that prove its non-seriousness and disrespect for the efforts aiming to achieve peace in the region.

In this regard, the Kingdom appreciates the efforts of the United Nations Organization for Education, Culture and Sciences (UNESCO) which resulted in the decision to accept the State of Palestine as full member in the organization and congratulates the UNESCO on this first important and influential step, stressing that the organization has taken the right direction to serve the international law and promote peace opportunities and the success of the benevolent effort of the states sponsoring peace and coexistence, and that the Kingdom continues to support work towards peace and security and to achieve the aspirations of the peoples of the world, including the Palestinian cause, whether through UNESCO or through other venues.

Then, the cabinet reviewed a number of activities in the Kingdom this week, including the 2011 Energy Dialogue Forum, which was organized by King Abdullah Center for Petroleum Studies and Research and was opened on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques by Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi.

In this regard, the cabinet commended the launching of the Center's activities through this forum as an important step forward for the Kingdom and will send a clear message on its ability to produce scientific research that is independent and of global standard on vital issues of energy and the Kingdom's commitment to be an effective and important partner in the discussion of global energy issues.

The activity is the Kingdom’s celebration of the Universal Children's Day which shows the Kingdom as an integral part of the world and participates in all its good occasions in addition to the fact that children are the corner stone of the future.

Dr. Khoja said the Cabinet then discussed domestic matters on its agenda and issued the following decisions:

To implement the King's order No. A/61 dated 13/4/1432 H. regarding job-seekers bursary program, the Cabinet instructed that a number of measures be taken, including that, Article (Third) is not applicable to whoever has applied for employment benefit and was proved eligible on that date to be disbursed retroactively from 1/1/1433 H., job-seekers bursary program will be effective from the date it was published in the official gazette, the decisions and instructions issued as regards women work, including the authorities given to the Minister of Labor in this concern are endorsed, the standing committee of the Supreme Economic Council, with the participation of the Minister of Social Affairs, will be assigned to supervise the developing of job-seekers bursary program and follow-up implementing it to enable Saudi job-seekers to get fair employment opportunities.

The decision conditioned that the services rendered by this program should include all those eligible without exception, recipients of the program should not enjoy duplication of such services of the program, and the appropriations of the program should cover the minimum necessary money that could meet the needs of living.

To the membership of the Environment Administration Council, the Cabinet approved a proposal to add one representative from each of the following bodies: the Meteorology and Protection of Environment authority, Ministry of Education, Civil Aviation Authority, Saudi Standards Organization, Food and Drug Authority, and Commercial and Industrial Chambers.

The Cabinet authorized the chairman of the board of directors of King Abdulaziz Foundation, or his deputy, to sign a cooperation memorandum between King Abdulaziz Foundation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the International Institute for Muslim Unity in Malaysia.

With the countries that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs agrees to negotiate, the Cabinet authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or his deputy, to discuss and sign a draft agreement in a framework for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, livestock and fisheries between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the governments of those countries.

The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or his deputy, to discuss and sign with the Ukrainian side a draft agreement in a framework for cooperation in the fields of agriculture, livestock and fisheries between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Ukraine.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the 2nd and 15th articles of the commercial mortgage regulation.

The cabinet approved the amendment of the royal decree M/14 dated 16/4/1421 H. concerning the arrangement of repayment of preferred debt in the case of bankruptcy.

The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:

1- Abdulrahman bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Aidan appointed to the post of planning advisor (rank 15) at the Command of General Staff.

2- Prince Fahad bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed bin Ayyaf Al-Muqrin appointed to the post of Director General of Water in Makkah region (rank 15) at the Ministry of Water and Electricity.

3- Jaber bin Mohammed bin Jaber Al-Shehri appointed to the post of Undersecretary for Fisheries (rank 15) at the Ministry of Agriculture.

4- Abdullah bin Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Dhuwaihi appointed to the post of Advisor to Civil Service (rank 15) at the Ministry of Civil Service.

5- Ali bin Abdullah bin Ali Al-Salem appointed to the post of Management Advisor (rank 14) at the Ministry of Defense.

6- Mishary bin Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Angari appointed to the post of Director General of Administration and Finance (rank 14) at the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs.

7-Saleh bin Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Debasi appointed to the post of Assistant Undersecretary for Budget and Management Affairs (rank 14) at the Ministry of Finance.

8- Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Khatib appointed to the post of Legal Advisor (rank 14) at the Ministry of Finance.

Meanwhile, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense, received French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé and his accompanying delegation.

The French Foreign Minister offered his condolences to Prince Salman on the demise of late Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz. He also congratulated Prince Salman on his appointment as Defense Minister.

Juppé expressed his pleasure over visiting the Kingdom and meeting with Prince Salman, stressing deep relations between the two countries and the keenness of the French leadership on strengthening cooperation with Saudi Arabia in various fields.

During the meeting, they reviewed relations between the two countries and ways of enhancing them in all fields, and discussed current situations at regional and international arenas.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Defense Minister, Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz; Director General of the Office of Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman bin Saleh Al-Bunyan; and the Ambassador of France to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bertrand Besancenot.

In Manama, Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Commander of Bahrain Defense Force, received Brigadier Isa Al-Omrah, commander of 13 bridge exercise, and a number of participants in the joint navy exercise between Royal Saudi Naval Forces and the command of the Royal Bahrain Naval Force.

During the meeting, Sheikh Khalifa hailed the cooperation between the two friendly countries.