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  • Ahmed Saleh

King Salman presides over Cabinet meeting in NEOM

NEOM, September 19, 2023, The Custodian of the Two Sacred Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, presided over the Cabinet meeting conducted in NEOM on Tuesday. At the outset of the session, the custodian of the two holy mosques highlighted the 93rd National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which occurs on Saturday, and stated that it reflects pride in the nation's history and achievements. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques expressed gratitude and praise to Allah Almighty for bestowing security, stability, and national unity upon the country, stating that this occasion exemplifies the state's pride in its glorious and dignified accomplishments and its hope for a brighter and more prosperous future. During the session, the Cabinet was briefed on the content of conversations that had taken place between the Kingdom and a number of countries over the past few days, including two messages received by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and the Prime Minister from the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran on ways to enhance Saudi-Iranian relations in various fields.

In statements to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) following the session, Minister of Media Salman bin Yousef Al-Dosari said the Cabinet discussed the outcomes of the Kingdom's participation in the Group of 77 and China (G77+China) Summit in Cuba.

Al-Dosari stated that during the summit, the Kingdom emphasized the significance it places on a joint, integrated approach to achieving prosperity and stability.

The minister added that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia emphasized maintaining leadership in the humanitarian field, continuing efforts to achieve sustainable development objectives, and taking the initiative to find solutions to various global challenges.

The Cabinet viewed the United Nations' announcement that the United Kingdom will host World Environment Day celebrations in 2024 as confirmation of the country's global and domestic leadership in environmental preservation and sustainability. The Cabinet added that this strengthens the Kingdom's ongoing efforts to support international environmental issues in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030.

The Cabinet praised the establishment of the Arab Cybersecurity Ministers Council under the auspices of the Arab League, with its General Secretariat and Executive Office located in Riyadh. The Cabinet stated that it was the result of a proposal put forth by the Kingdom and that it reflects the country's commitment to bolstering collective Arab action and maximizing integration in this sector in order to further strengthen collaboration in order to preserve security and stability. This furthers the aims and aspirations of Arab nations for a prosperous future.

According to the minister of media, the Cabinet discussed recent regional and international developments, including the kingdom's efforts to assist flood victims in Libya. The Cabinet stated that the Kingdom's efforts stem from its humanitarian duty to provide aid to people in need and distress caused by natural disasters around the globe.

Domestically, the Cabinet emphasized that the positive assessments of the Saudi economy by international financial institutions and credit-rating agencies reflect the prominent role of the economic and structural reforms implemented within the Kingdom Vision 2030 framework. These reforms have contributed to supporting non-oil sector growth, sustaining fiscal sustainability, and preserving a balanced level of public debt, according to the Cabinet.

The Cabinet highlighted the outcomes of the Riyadh-hosted Cityscape Global Exhibition, which saw the introduction of mega projects worth more than SAR110 billion and will contribute to the advancement of the real estate sector and the attainment of the Kingdom's developmental objectives.

The Cabinet addressed additional agenda items and issued numerous decisions, including the following:

First: approval of an energy-related memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Energy of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Energy and Minerals of Oman.

Second: permitting the minister of energy or a delegate to conduct discussions with the Spanish side regarding a draft memorandum of understanding to be signed in the energy field between Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Spain.

Third: authorizing the minister of defense or a delegate to negotiate with the British side a draft agreement on mutual protection of classified data between Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Fourth: approval of a memorandum of understanding between Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Thailand regarding visa-free entry for holders of diplomatic and official passports.

Fifth: authorizing the minister of economy and planning or a delegate to conduct talks with the Portuguese side on a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the economic field with the Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Maritime Affairs.

Sixth: authorizing the minister of transport and logistic services, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), or a delegate to engage in discussions with the Maldivian side regarding a draft memorandum of understanding with the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority in the field of water airports and seaplanes.

Seventh: authorizing the chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Competition or a delegate to negotiate a proposed memorandum of cooperation with the Competition Protection Agency in Kuwait in the field of competition protection.

Eighth: authorizing the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence (SDAIA) or a deputy to hold discussions on two draft MoUs with the International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence and the Joef Stefan Institute in Slovenia in the areas of research, development, and innovation in artificial intelligence.

Ninth: Approval of a cooperation agreement between the Presidency of State Security and the Azerbaijani State Security Service in the field of combating terrorism and its financing.

Tenth: Approval of a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the sphere of traditional arts between the Royal Institute of Traditional Arts and the Korea National University of Cultural Heritage.

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