Saudi Cabinet lauds GCC’s role in preserving regional peace

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presides over a cabinet meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in this file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 13 December 2017
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Saudi Cabinet lauds GCC’s role in preserving regional peace

RIYADH: The Cabinet on Tuesday welcomed the Kuwait Declaration issued at the end of the 38th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting and its emphasis on King Salman’s vision — approved by the GCC summit in 2015 — which laid down the basis for integration between the GCC member states in all areas.
Chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, the Cabinet lauded the GCC’s pivotal role in preserving peace and stability in the region and fighting terrorist groups and extremist ideology.
Cabinet members also appreciated the unanimous global rejection of US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of the US Embassy to it.
The Cabinet renewed the Kingdom’s deep regret over the US decision, which, it said, represents a great bias against the legitimate and historic rights of the Palestinian people in Al-Quds, which were guaranteed by the relevant international resolutions.
It also asked the US administration to revoke the decision and side with the international will allowing the Palestinians to regain their legitimate rights.
At the regional level, the Cabinet congratulated the Iraqi government and people for liberating their lands from Daesh.
The Cabinet also condemned the terrorist attack on a New York City subway on Monday. It also reaffirmed the Kingdom’s rejection of terrorism and extremism in all forms and manifestations regardless of their sources.
On atrocities committed against the Rohingya Muslims, the Cabinet welcomed the resolution of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva for its rejection of the systematic violations of human rights in Myanmar, notably among the Rohingyas.
At the local level, the Cabinet appreciated King Salman’s patronage of a ceremony honoring the winners of King Khalid Prizes for 2017, which according to the Cabinet, embodied his care for non-profit national foundations and their encouragement to pursue their constructive social and humanitarian efforts in the Kingdom.
Later, the Cabinet approved a series of decisions including the start of gradual correction for prices of some energy products. It also approved a consumer protection plan in light of the economic reforms and approved the establishment of a joint operation room for various government agencies to bolster protection of consumers during the forthcoming economic reforms.
The Cabinet also approved a number of memorandums understanding for cooperation in the areas of fishery resources, trade and investment, and political consultations between the Kingdom and Indonesia, the Philippines, Georgia and Afghanistan.


US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

Updated 21 October 2018
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US’ Mnuchin says talk about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh to meet with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.