Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefs cabinet on content of talks with leaders of several countries

Cabinet re-forms military service council

King Abdullah receives two messages from Bahraini monarch, UAE president

Crown Prince Naif approves amendment of two articles in Saudi nationality system

Contract for second stage Haramain train project signed

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session which was held at Al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh.

At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on discussions, messages and contacts he made over the last few days with a number of State leaders or their envoys on the bilateral relations and the latest Arab, regional and international developments, including the audiences he held with Prime Minister Mohammed Salim Ba Sindwah of Yemen; Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, and the Premier of State Council of People's Republic of China Wen Jiabao. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the messages he received from King Juan Carlos of Spain and the one he sent to President Barack Obama of the United States, lauding the depth of relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and those countries and the keenness of all to develop relations to achieve more cooperation and support fair international efforts to serve Islamic, Arab and international issues.

The King hailed what has been done during the visit of the Chinese Premier through signing a number of agreements and cooperation programs reflecting the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries in all fields and the readiness of both sides to raise them for the interests of the two countries in support of peace, stability and development at regional and international levels.

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Dr. Youssef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, Minister of Social Affairs and Acting Minister of Culture and Information, said the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports on continuation of repercussions of the events in a number of Arab countries and occupied Palestinian territories, condemning the continuing Israeli practices of racism against the Palestinian people, including what has been done by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, attacks on mosques and continuing settlement procedures in the Palestinian territories and the occupied Syrian Golan, in defiance of the will of the international community which rejects the settlement.

The Cabinet expressed appreciation of the United Nations for thanking the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its efforts and partnership with the World Food Program (WFP), organizing a photo exhibition at the UN headquarters in Geneva reflecting five decades of partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the WFP, in recognition of the international community for the humanitarian role played by the Kingdom as one of the biggest donors of voluntary contributions to the program which has had a significant impact on alleviating the suffering and feeding hungry people in disaster-hit countries around the world.

Then, the Acting Minister of Culture and Information said the Cabinet reviewed the scientific, economic, environmental and cultural activities held during the week in several cities of the Kingdom, hailing the signing of the contract for the implementation of the 2nd phase of the SR 3,815,000,000 worth of Haramain High-Speed Train, one of the most important transportation projects in the Kingdom. It is an integral part of expanding railway network which has received huge governmental funding to provide the best services and the latest technology to serve citizens, pilgrims and visitors.

Dr. Yosuf bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen said the Cabinet proceeded on to discuss issues on its domestic agenda and issued the following decisions:

The Cabinet instructed the amendment of paragraph 1 of its decision no. 6 of 19/1l1401 to read as follows: The cash allowance to be paid to an officer on secondment inside the Kingdom, on each day he may spend outside his workplace, according to the following:

1- The ranks of Maj. General and Brigadier shall be paid SR 800/per day

2- The ranks of Colonel and Lt. Colonel shall be paid SR 700/per day

3- The ranks of Maj., Captain, First Lieutenant shall be paid SR 600 per day

4- The rank of Lieutenant shall be paid SR 400/ per day.

Transport allowance per day for a Maj. General on secondment outside the Kingdom, on an official mission, shall be SR 300, while it shall be SR 50 per day, if he is on an internal mission throughout his secondment span of time, if no other means of transportation were available at his workplace.

In case no other means of transportation were available for officers, one shall be paid an extra transport allowance for each day throughout his secondment span at a ratio of (1/30) of his monthly transport allowance according to his rank.

The Cabinet amended item 8th, paragraphs A and C of Article 15th and paragraph J of Article 16th of the Executive Regulation of the Law of the Service of Soldiers issued by the Cabinet decision no 324 on 16/3/1397.

The Cabinet approved restructuring the Military Service Council as follows:

1- Premier (Chairman)

2- Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior (Vice Chairman)

3- Minister of Defense (Member)

4- Minister of Foreign Affairs (Member)

5- Chief of General Intelligence (Member)

6- Commander of the National Guard (Member)

7- Secretary General of the National Security Council (Member)

8- Minister of Finance (Member)

9- Three persons to be appointed by the King (Members).

The Cabinet decided that the name of 'Ministry of Defense' replace the 'Ministry of Defense, Aviation and General Inspection' and 'Ministry of Defense, and Aviation,' and that the title of 'Minister of Defense' replace the 'Minister of Defense, Aviation and General Inspector' and 'The Minister of Defense, and Aviation.'

The Cabinet decided that the Presidency of Meteorology and Protection of Environment report to the Premier.

The Cabinet renewed the membership of the following members to the Board of Directors of Saudi Development Fund for three years, retroactive from 15/1/1433H:

1. Dr. Khalil bin Abdulfattah Kurdi

2. Mishari bin Ibrahim Al-Mishari

The Cabinet appointed the following as members to the Board of Directors of Saudi Development Fund for three years starting from the date of enforcing this decision:

1. Dr. Youssef bin Tarad Al-Sadoun - Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry for Economic and Cultural Affairs

2. Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Awad - Assistant Director General of Investment at Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).

The Cabinet approved a number of transferences and appointments as follows:

1. Ahmad bin Abdulrahman Al-Humaidi is appointed to the post of Technical Affairs Advisor (rank 15) at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.

2. Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Mofadhi is transferred from the post of Advisor (rank 14) at Saudi Development Fund and appointed as Economic Advisor (rank 15) at the Ministry of Finance.

3. Hamad bin Hamad Al-Tuwaijri is appointed to the post of Administrative Advisor (rank 15) at the Ministry of Labor.

4. Omar bin Abdulaziz Al-Sibaiheen is appointed to the post of Legal Advisor (rank 15) at the Ministry of Labor.

5. Suleiman bin Abdulaziz bin Duaij is appointed to the post of Legal Advisor (rank 14) at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

King Abdullah received a message from King Hamad bin Eisa Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

The message was delivered to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques by Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, during an audience held at King Abdullah's palace.

During the audience, the Minister conveyed the greetings and appreciation of King Hamad bin Eisa Al Khalifa to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who for his part, sent his greetings and appreciation to King Hamad bin Eisa Al Khalifa.

The audience was attended by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Sheikh Homoud bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Bahraini Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The king also received a message from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates.

The message was delivered to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE Deputy Premier, who is also the Minister of the Cabinet Affairs, during an audience held at the monarch's palace.

During the audience, Sheikh Mansour conveyed the greetings and appreciation of the UAE President to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who for his part, sent greetings and appreciation to the UAE President.

The audience was attended by Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Chief of General Intelligence; and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State, Member of the Cabinet and Commander of the National Guard.

Meanwhile, Crown Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Premier and Minister of the Interior has approved the amendment of two articles of executive regulations of the system of Saudi Arabian nationality.

The Official Spokesman of Civil Affairs Mohammed Bin Jasser Al-Jasser pointed out that the new amendments included Articles (7) and (8) concerning people born in the Kingdom from a foreign father and a Saudi mother; and a foreign woman married to a Saudi.

Al-Jasser said amendment to Article (7) states that in light of the applicant provides information, his application shall be evaluated by a committee formed by the Directorate of Naturalization of the Branch of Civil Affairs through five elements, distributed as follows:

1. If his residence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is permanent at the age of majority (Becoming An Adult), he gets one point.

2. If he has an academic certificate not less than a secondary one, he gets one point.

3. If the father of the mother and her grandfather from the part of her father were Saudis, he gets six points.

4. If only her father is Saudi, he gets two points.

5. If an applicant has one Saudi brother or sister, or more, he gets two points.

If an applicant gets at least seven points, the Committee recommends to study his application, otherwise his application shall be reserved.

Al- Jasser noted that amendment to Article (8) states that in light of a female applicant provides information, her application shall be evaluated by a committee formed by the Directorate of Naturalization of the Branch of Civil Affairs through six elements, distributed as follows:

1. If one or more of her relatives (father, mother or brother) are Saudis, she gets two points.

2. If she is born in the Kingdom, she gets two points.

3. If she has an academic certificate not less than a university degree, she gets two points.

4. If she is a resident in the Kingdom for a period of not less than 10 consecutive years prior to the date of her marriage, she gets two points.

5. For each year, after the approval of the competent authority of the marriage, she gets one point, a maximum of twelve points.

6. If she gives birth to a baby, she gets two points; if she gives birth to two babies or more, she gets four points. If she does not give birth from a Saudi, her application for Saudi nationality shall not be considered.

If a female applicant gets seventeen points, the Committee recommends studying her application, otherwise her application shall be reserved.

In Riyadh, The Minister of Finance and Chairman of Public Investment Fund, Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, and Minister of Transport and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi Railroads Organization Dr. Jubarah bin Eid Al-Suraiseri signed a contract worth more than SR 30.8 billion with Al-Shu'lah Consortium for implementation of the second phase of Haramain High Speed Train Project.

The ceremony was attended by Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia, Development Minister Ana Pastor, and Spanish Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pablo Bravo.

Addressing the ceremony, Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishaal bin Abdulaziz, Chief Executive Officer of Al-Shu'alah Holding Group and President of Saudi-Spanish Alliance for Haramain Train Project emphasized the importance of the train project and its role in the service of pilgrims and Umrah performers.

He said the project started more than five years ago and that it was studied very carefully to bring about the best and latest technologies to run a high-speed train between the holy sites which is characterized by measures of global safety and comfort in implementation of the directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to provide the best services and latest technologies to serve citizens, visitors, pilgrims and Umrah performers.

The Prince expressed his thanks to and appreciation of the King for his great services to the homeland and its citizens.