For the Record | Saudi Cabinet Session – Mar 16th
SUSRIS serves as your chronicle of developments in the Saudi-US relationship, in the Kingdom and in the region. As part of our service we archive the daily news reviews produced by the Saudi-US Trade Group and selected press clippings and other resources. You can find these archives and more on the SUSRIS Resources menu, including timelines, glossary, experts and officials lists, multimedia recordings, documents, and more.
Today we provide for the record the March 16th meeting of the Saudi cabinet chaired by King Salman.
Riyadh, Jumada I 25, 1436, Mar 16, 2015, SPA — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session held at Al-Yamamah Palace here today.
At the outset of the session, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the talks he held with Afghanistan’s President Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as well as on the letters he received from Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, which dealt with prospects of cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their respective countries as well as the developments on Arab, Islamic and international arenas.
To the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques expressed his thanks and appreciation for the sincere feelings with which they received the speech he addressed to them last Tuesday.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Adel bin Zaid Altoraifi said the Cabinet expressed sincere thanks to and appreciation of the great and valuable meanings and implications of the speech the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques delivered. It showed his sincere care for achieving greater prosperity for all citizens and for supporting and developing state institutions and sectors. The Cabinet prayed to Allah Almighty to bless the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to keep Allah’s blessings of security and development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Altoraifi also said that the Cabinet praised the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for patronizing the opening ceremony of the Second International Conference on the History of the Founder, King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud.
Dr. Altoraifi also pointed out that the Cabinet listened to a brief by Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Deputy Premier, on the outcome of Egypt Economic Development Conference which was held in Sharm el-Sheikh. The Cabinet reiterated the Kingdom’s keenness on the stability and prosperity of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the promotion of the Kingdom’s relations with Egypt, and the safety and security of the people of Egypt. The Cabinet stressed that the gains and capabilities of Egypt are an integral part of the gains and capabilities of the Arab and Islamic nations.
The Cabinet hailed the convening of the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the National Anti-Corruption Commission in Riyadh, wishing the conference all success and hope of yielding tangible results that contribute to the efforts being exerted to promote regional, Arab and international cooperation in protecting integrity and countering corruption.
The Minister of Culture and Information also said that the Cabinet reviewed a number of reports about the developments regionally and internationally, and reiterated the Kingdom’s criticism of the offensive allegations against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Sweden. The statements included a criticism of both the provisions of the Islamic judicial system followed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the social foundations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The statements also ignored the facts and the great progress the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made at all levels, including the unique position that has been enjoyed by women in various educational, scientific, health, economic and commercial fields.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirms that ensuring the independence of the judiciary is an immutable principle and a main basis for protecting and promoting human rights. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stresses that its judiciary, based on Islamic law, has ensured justice for all, and under which all are equal and have the right to litigate and receive their rights. The judiciary in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia enjoys absolute independence, no authority is above the judiciary but the authority of Islamic law. The freedom of expression is guaranteed for all in the context of Islamic law. Therefore, incorrect allegations should not be invested in cases of personal rights between individuals and take such cases out of their judicial context.
Regarding women’s rights, Islamic law ensures a just equality between male and female, and the systems do not differentiate between man and woman; the Basic Law of Governance itself stipulates in Article 8 that governance in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is based on justice and equality in accordance with the Islamic law.
Saudi women have made significant achievements in many fields, while maintaining their Islamic and Arab identity; they have assumed leadership positions in both public and private sectors, in addition to their active participation in the Majlis Al-Shura where the percentage of their participants is higher than women participants in parliaments of other countries.
The Cabinet emphasized that it accepts no offenses against the Judicial laws or social and cultural patterns just because of their difference from the common patterns in other countries, and such behavior contradicts the basics of the International Community which call for the respect of religions and cultural diversity of peoples. Islam’s Principles which are followed by 1500 million Muslims in the World are nonnegotiable. The International Community should respect the choices of the Muslim People and the ways they choose for development. Politicians in country should not involve Muslim regimes and affairs for local political purposes; such practice runs counter to diplomatic norms, conventions and friendly relations among nations.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regrets these unfriendly statements, and hopes it would not have to review the value of continuing a number of bilateral relations that tie the two countries.
The Cabinet welcomed the final statements of 143th session for Arab foreign ministers in Cairo as well as 32nd session of Arab Ministers of Interior in Algiers, and 134th session of the Ministerial Council of the GCC in Riyadh and the decisions that will enhance Arab joint action as well as combat challenges threatening the Arab World security.
Dr. Altoraifi said that the Cabinet reviewed a number of issues on its agenda and issued the following decisions:
The Cabinet approved a framework convention on economic, trade and investment and technical cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United States of America, which was signed in New York City on 09/11/1433H.
The Cabinet approved an agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Tajikistan to avoid double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital, which was signed in Riyadh on 14/07/1435H.
The Cabinet decided that the President of the Public Transport Authority – or his deputy – shall be a member of all committees supervising the existing public transport projects in Madinah, Dammam, Jeddah Governorate and Qatif Governorate.
The Cabinet authorized the President of General Authority of Civil Aviation – or his deputy – to sign air services draft agreements between the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the governments of the Republic of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and Iceland and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania, and then submits the final, signed copies in order to complete the statutory procedures.
The Cabinet approved a number of appointments as follows:
1- Eng. Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Shenaifi appointed to the post of Director General of Technical Affairs (Rank 15) at the Ministry of Interior.
2- Abdullah bin Mofleh bin Abdullah Al-Sharif appointed to the post of Director General of the Ministry’s Branch in Makkah (Rank 15) at the Ministry of Justice.
3- Abdullah bin Muqhem bin Abdullah Al-Muqhem appointed to the post of Director General of Jeddah Islamic Port Customs (Rank 15) at the General Directorate of Customs.
4- Mohammed bin Abdullah bin Aoun Al-Qarni appointed to the post of Director General of International Representation of Communications and Information Technology (Rank 14) at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The Cabinet also reviewed the annual reports of the General Authority for Investment and the Saudi Organization for Industrial Estates and Technology Zones for two previous fiscal years and issued the relevant instructions about them.