Govt agencies urged to provide best possible services to pilgrims

Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday. (SPA)

Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday. (SPA)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has urged authorities to provide optimum services to pilgrims who have come to perform Haj this year, said Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin while chairing a meeting held by the Council of Ministers here Monday.

Prince Muqrin said Saudi Arabia is carrying out giant development projects in Makkah, Madinah and holy sites and expansion works on the two holy mosques.

More than 2 million faithful from within the Kingdom and abroad are expected to perform Haj this year.

Haj Minister and acting Minister of Culture and Information Bandar Hajjar said the Cabinet was briefed on the telephone conversation between King Abdullah and Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Referring to the speech made by King Abdullah while hosting foreign ambassadors, the Cabinet reiterated the need for greater global cooperation to combat terrorism to prevent it from spreading all over the world.

The Cabinet welcomed the cease-fire agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis that ended the Zionist entity’s aggression on Gaza, while praising the role played by Egypt to reach a truce.

“The meeting stressed the importance of speeding up the distribution of relief supplies in the Gaza Strip to alleviate the sufferings of Palestinians hit by the Israeli war crimes,” Hajjar said.

Saudi Arabia welcomed the resolutions taken by the GCC Ministerial Council that met in Jeddah on Saturday, reaffirming the solid position of Gulf states on several political, regional and international political issues and stressing the importance of joint GCC march.

The Cabinet appreciated what was expressed by the international report issued by the Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Madinah and its assertion that Madinah is a unique example of a global competitive city since it represents a historic center for spiritual and intellectual enlightenment.

The meeting also commended the opening of specialized courts and the monitoring of the excesses of real estate properties. It valued the announcement of the names of the beneficiaries of housing loans in different regions.

Spelling out other Cabinet decisions, Hajjar said it approved an agreement with Morocco for cooperation in civil defense and civil protection.

The accord covers the exchange of information on organizing technical and administrative aspects of devices applied for civil defense and civil protection in both countries.

The meeting authorized Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Naif to hold talks with his Georgian counterpart to sign an agreement for cooperation in civil defense. It assigned the head of the Youth Welfare Presidency to discuss and sign with Japanese officials an agreement for cooperation in sports, the minister said.

The Cabinet endorsed the unified regulation of the GCC on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The regulation covers total phase-out of ozone-depleting materials and substituting them with safe alternatives in accordance with the national interests of the GCC countries.

“The regulation also calls for the implementation of plans and programs in GCC countries to rehabilitate the sectors whose activities depend on controlled substances and help them comply with sound practices in repairs and maintenance and transition to appropriate alternatives,” Hajjar said.

The Cabinet appointed Khaled bin Mohammed Al-Fuhaid, acting undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture for Agriculture Affairs, as a member of Board of Directors of Agricultural Development Fund representing the ministry.

 
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