Saudi Cabinet discusses developments in Syria, asserts situation is extremely serious

Incidents in Syria require everyone to shoulder their historic responsibilities before God

Defense Minister resumes tour of Western Region Command

Prince Salman: I am glad about achievements made by Saudis, proud of our air forces’ preparedness

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Yamamah Palace this week.

At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the contents of the messages sent to him by each of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the meeting, Dr. Yusuf Bin Ahmed Al-Othaymeen, Minister of Social Affairs, who is also Acting Minister of Culture and Information, said the Cabinet discussed a number of reports on the developments of events at region and international levels, including the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic.

In this regard, the Cabinet was briefed on the call issued by the Arab League Council during its meeting in Cairo this week at the level of Arab foreign ministers for the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition to begin a serious political dialogue under the patronage of the Arab League in order to form a government of national unity.

The Cabinet also reviewed the stance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announcing the withdrawal of its Arab League monitors from Syria due to Syrian government failure to implement any of the conditions of the Arab solution plan mainly aiming at stopping the dear bloodshed of the Syrian people.

The Cabinet stressed that the situation in Syria is very serious, requiring all to assume their historic responsibilities.

Dr. Al-Othaymeen said the Cabinet also was briefed on the outcome of a number of scientific and economic conferences and activities held in the Kingdom. In this regard, the Cabinet highly appreciated the recommendations of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques during his speech at the opening ceremony of the 13th Gulf Industrialists, encouraging cooperation among universities and industrial companies in the field of scientific research.

He said that the Cabinet also stressed the important implications included in the speech of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques before the 6th Global Competitiveness Forum.

Dr. Al-Othaymeen also said the Cabinet then continued the discussion of its agenda on domestic matters and issued the following resolutions:

Firstly: Approval of the memorandum of cooperation between King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Al-Biruni Institute of Oriental Studies of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed on January 16, 2011.

Secondly: The Cabinet endorsed the final accounts of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund for the fiscal years 1418/1419 H., 1419/1420 H., 1422/1423 H., 1423/1424H.,1424/1425H., 1426/1427H., 1427/1428H., 1428/1429H., and 1430/1431H.

Thirdly: The Cabinet authorized the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources or his deputy to discuss with the Chinese matters regarding an amended protocol of the one signed between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Peoples Republic of China on cooperation in the sectors of petroleum, gas and minerals as per royal decree No. M/25 dated 25/4/1427 H.; sign it and forward the final version for further authentication and accreditation.

Fourthly: After having reviewed a proposal submitted by the Public Pension Agency, the Cabinet decided that beneficiaries of pension who fall under the Pension System will have to opt whether to join the unified system extending the insurance protection for GCC citizens who work in any of the GCC member country as expatriates. Had the pension beneficiary opted to move under the umbrella of the GCC unified pension extending its insurance protection over GCC citizens, his current pension at home will be stopped.

Fifth: The Cabinet approved a number of appointments at rank 14, two posts (Ambassador) and (Minister Plenipotentiary), as follows:

Appointment of:

1 - Nasser bin Othman bin Abdullah Al-Medlej to the post of (financial advisor), rank 14, at the Ministry of Defense.

2 - Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Dayl to the post of Ambassador, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3 - Mansour bin Saleh bin Ali Al-Ghamdi to the post of Minister Plenipotentiary, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

4 - Engineer Abdullah bin Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Aba Bateen to the post of Director General of Administrative and Financial Affairs, rank 14, at Riyadh Region's Principality.

Meanwhile, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Defense made an inspection tour to King Abdullah Air Base in the Western sector.

On arrival at the venue, Prince Salman was received by Chief of Staff Lt. General Hussein Bin Abdullah Al-Qubail and a number of senior commanders and officers.

Prince Salman made an inspection visit to the Base of the Western Fleet.

On arrival at the venue, Prince Salman was received by the Commander of the Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Khalid bin Ali Al-Hamdan and senior officers.

Then, Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz delivered a speech in which he said: 'I am pleased to be with you in this day and to convey to you the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and that it is a really happy day to visit Makkah region to inspect the four branches of the armed forces: Land, Air, Naval and Air Defense.

Prince Salman received in Jeddah Prince Abdulaziz bin Majed bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Madinah Region and a number of citizens from the region, who came to greet and congratulate him on the royal trust in his appointment as Minister of Defense.

Prince Salman expressed his thanks to and appreciation of all for their noble feelings, stressing the keenness of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince on the further development of the cities of Makkah and Madinah which have been frequented by pilgrims and Umrah performers from all over the world.

The meeting was attended by Director General of the Office of Minister of Defense Lieutenant General Abdulrahman bin Saleh Al-Bunyan.

Prince Salman also received a number of citizens from Jeddah Governorate, who came to greet and congratulate him on the royal trust in his appointment as Minister of Defense.

The Prince expressed his thanks to them for their noble feelings, praying to Allah Almighty to preserve the security and stability of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince.

He also received a number of citizens from Tabuk region, who came to greet and congratulate him on the royal trust in his appointment as Minister of Defense.

The Prince expressed his thanks to them for their noble feelings, stressing the attention and care of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Crown Prince for all regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their keenness on their development, progress and prosperity.

The meeting was attended by Prince Bandar bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.