Saudi crown prince briefs Cabinet on completion of Hajj preparations

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Updated 24 August 2017
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Saudi crown prince briefs Cabinet on completion of Hajj preparations

RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday briefed the Cabinet on the completion of Hajj preparations in line with the king’s directives to fully serve all pilgrims.
Chairing the Cabinet session at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah, the crown prince said the Kingdom will spare no effort to serve pilgrims.
The Cabinet thanked King Salman for allowing Qatari pilgrims to enter the Kingdom via the Salwa border crossing without electronic permits.
It also thanked the king for his directives to send Saudi Arabian Airlines aircraft to Doha to transport Qatari pilgrims, and to host them at his expense.
The Cabinet expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of terror attacks in Nigeria, Spain, Russia and Finland that resulted in many deaths and injuries.
It stressed the Kingdom’s firm rejection of terrorism, and urged the international community to unify efforts to combat it.
The Cabinet authorized the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with China a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two governments to establish a Saudi-Chinese investment fund.
The Cabinet authorized the minister of justice, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with China a draft judicial cooperation agreement between the two countries.
It authorized the minister of culture and information, or whomever he authorizes, to discuss with China an MoU on cooperation in the field of information.
The Cabinet approved an MoU on cooperation between the Saudi and Japanese governments on regulating procedures of granting visit visas to citizens of the two countries.
It approved an MoU on cooperation between the education ministries in Saudi Arabia and China.
The Cabinet approved the Kingdom joining a multilateral agreement on the automatic exchange of financial account information, which was signed in Tbilisi, Georgia.
It approved the regulation on non-disclosure of information for tax purposes, in line with agreements to which the Kingdom is party.
The Cabinet approved the government bearing fees for entry visas of committees for pilgrim affairs and organizers of pilgrim arrivals for the current Hajj season.
It also approved the government bearing fees for entry visas of seasonal workers for the current Hajj season.
The Cabinet approved implementation of decisions by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Supreme Council in its 36th session in Riyadh on equality of its members’ citizens in terms of health care.
It approved the system for distribution of dry gas and liquid petroleum gas for residential and commercial purposes.
The Cabinet approved regulations related to the termination of services of military officers and financial benefits to be paid to them.
Later, the crown prince met with US delegation includes Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the US President Donald Trump; Jason Greenblat, US special representative for International Negotiations; Dina Powell, US deputy national security adviser for strategy; and Tim Lenderking, deputy assistant secretary of state for Arabian Gulf Affairs.
The two sides agreed to advance their shared goal of working toward a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and ensuring security, stability and prosperity across the Middle East. They also discussed the continued development of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI).

Meanwhile, the US delegation also met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The two sides affirmed their close relationship and committed to strengthen cooperation. They stressed their shared priority of cutting off all support for terrorists and extremists.


Saudi heritage body applauds citizen who returned rare artifact

Ali Saad Al-Shahrani returns rare artifacts to an SCTH official in Bishah. (AN photo)
Updated 21 min 44 sec ago
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Saudi heritage body applauds citizen who returned rare artifact

  • Aman named Ali Saad Al-Shahrani handed the rare pieces over to the SCTH office in the governorate of Bishah in Asir province.
  • A spokesman of the SCTH urged others to follow the fine example of Al-Shahrani and support the National Antiquities Recovery Campaign.

RIYADH: Six rare artifacts — some dating back to pre-Islamic times — have been handed over to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) by a Saudi citizen.

Majed Alshadeed, SCTH spokesman, told Arab News on Sunday that a man named Ali Saad Al-Shahrani handed the rare pieces over to the SCTH office in the Governorate of Bishah in Asir region.

One of the objects is a stone piece which includes verses from the Holy Qur’an, written in the bas relief style.

He praised Al-Shahrani’s gesture of support for the National Antiquities Recovery Campaign and urged others to follow his example.

However, he added that the gesture was not uncommon as people on many occasions have returned artifacts, showing keenness in supporting the commission in preserving the beautiful heritage and the antiquities of the Kingdom. Not only citizens, but expatriates too, have returned artifacts in the past, he added.

Notably, the SCTH honored the then Portugal Ambassador Manuel Carvalho last December for returning a finely crafted Saudi artifact of the Neolithic era to the commission.

Acknowledging the great gesture, Abdul Rahman Al-Jassas, the Executive Director of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Initiative, delivered a certificate of appreciation from SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman to the outgoing ambassador.

Praising the move Mohammed Al-Omrah, director general, SCTH branch for Asir region, thanked the citizen for supporting the national initiative, calling for those who have artifacts to hand them in to the SCTH or its branches in the various regions and governates.

Al-Omrah added that the National Antiquities Recovery Campaign was launched by SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman.

The SCTH runs a campaign fostering awareness of the importance of returning heritage artifacts and has honored citizens and foreigners who have returned archaeological objects to the commission.

The SCTH held an exhibition for the recovered antiquities and holds a register of the people who give back relics and artifacts. Some of them were honored during the opening ceremony of the first Saudi Archaeology Convention in Riyadh last year.