Al-Ahsa murderers condemned
The Cabinet condemned on Monday the Al-Ahsa attackers as murderers and welcomed an initiative by scholars, intellectuals and preachers to counter extremism in the country.
Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, chaired the meeting at the Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.
Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar, who is acting minister of culture and information, said in a statement issued after the meeting that the ministers had offered their “deepest condolences” to the relatives of the victims, and commended scholars, sheikhs and citizens in the Kingdom for condemning the “heinous attack.”
He said the Cabinet also praised the King Abdulaziz National Center for Dialogue for developing a program to counter extremism in the country.
The initiative, known as Dialogues, would involve 20 events in all provinces with the participation of top scholars, preachers and intellectuals.
Hajar said the ministers at the meeting also condemned Israel for storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and attacking worshipers. “The Saudi Council of Ministers called on the international community to take steps to end the brazen Israeli violations and terror attacks on the Palestinians and their sacred locations,” said Hajar.
The Cabinet welcomed Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Hadi’s formation of a government describing it as a positive step toward ensuring security and stability in Yemen in line with the aspirations of the country’s citizens.
The Cabinet also lauded Prince Salman’s contribution, including his awards and prizes, to encourage historical and cultural studies of the Arabian Peninsula.
The major decisions taken by the Cabinet on Monday included authorizing the Minister of Finance to sign a draft agreement with the Treasury Department of the United States to improve international tax compliance and implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
The Cabinet also authorized the General Auditing Bureau to approve any claim for entitlement disbursement not exceeding SR3 million based on copies of missing documents, while the Finance Minister is authorized to approve a claim of up to SR10 million. The Cabinet would decide on claims exceeding this amount.
It also approved memorandums of understanding and an agreement for cooperation signed on an earlier occasion between the Financial Investigation Unit of the Saudi Ministry of Interior and similar authorities in Afghanistan, Russia, Algeria, Montenegro and Turkey. The Cabinet authorized the General President of Youth Welfare to discuss with Turkmenistan a draft memorandum of understanding in sports.
The Cabinet also approved an agreement for technical cooperation between the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Jordan’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in the fields of geology and mining, including transfer of technology and training of geologists and engineers.
Another agreement approved is for cooperation in the field of environmental protection and conservation between Saudi Arabia and Morocco. The appointments approved by the Cabinet included Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Aifan as ambassador and Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Braithen as minister plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.