Russia visit to further cement ties — King


Saudi Gazette report

— Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman expressed hope that his upcoming visit to Russia and talks with President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials would contribute in realizing the aspirations of the two countries in further enhancing and developing bilateral relations in all fields.

Presiding over the weekly session of the Council of Ministers at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Tuesday, the King said the visit would serve the common interests of both the countries and materialize the efforts to promote global peace and security.

Several landmark pacts are expected to be signed during the historic visit of the King that will begin on Thursday.

Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency following the session that the Cabinet authorized president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage or his deputy to discuss with the Russian side and sign a memorandum of understanding between the commission and the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism.

It also authorized the Public Prosecutor or his deputy to discuss with the Russian side and sign a memorandum of cooperation between the Public Prosecution and its Russian counterpart in the field of investigation and public prosecution.

Al-Awwad said the Cabinet thanked the King for the issuance of a Royal decree to apply the traffic law and its executive regulations, which includes issuance of driving licenses for both men and women, stating that the State is the guardian of Shariah values and maintaining and taking care of these values are on the top of the list of its priorities.

The minister said the Cabinet welcomed the announcement of the Public Investment Fund about the establishment of the two companies — Rou’a Al-Haram and Rou’a Al-Madinah — to develop residential and commercial areas around the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.

The Cabinet noted that the creation of these companies that are keeping pace with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is aimed at developing projects that contribute to raising the capacity of the Two Holy Mosques to accommodate the increasing number of Haj and Umrah pilgrims and visitors.

According to Al-Awwad, the Cabinet reviewed the meetings of the Saudi delegation with the representatives of the delegations of US, Russia, Japan and South Korea on the sidelines of the 61st general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna with regard to the options for implementing the National Project for Atomic Energy in the Kingdom and ways of cooperation to support the project, especially with regard to the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) feasibility studies to build the first two reactors in the Kingdom.

The Cabinet renewed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the terrorist bombings in Bahraini capital of Manama, Somali capital of Mogadishu, Afghan capital of Kabul and the province of Kandahar in Afghanistan, the attacks that took place in the city of Marseille in southern France and the city of Edmonton in western Canada, and the shooting incident in Las Vegas in the United States.

The Council offered its condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.

The session stressed the Kingdom’s solidarity and standing with the friendly countries against the practices of violence, extremism, terrorism and instigation for them.

The Cabinet welcomed the accession of the State of Palestine to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) after voting of 74 countries for the resolution in the meetings of the General Assembly in Beijing, considering it as a political achievement and success for the Palestinian struggle and the joint Arab action to strengthen the status and role of Palestine on the international arena.

Al-Awwad said the Cabinet approved setting up of the National Center for E-Education as an independent body. The Council also approved the restructuring of the Appeals Committee on disputes pertaining to securities, with Naqa Al-Otaibi, from the Bureau of Experts under the Council of Ministers, as its chairman.