Saudi Cabinet lauds king’s orders on easing citizens’ living conditions

King Salman presides over a cabinet meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS)
Updated 10 January 2018

Saudi Cabinet lauds king’s orders on easing citizens’ living conditions

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has expressed its appreciation of King Salman’s royal decrees on the payment of annual bonuses and cost of living allowances for civilians and military employees in the Kingdom.
Chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh Tuesday, the Cabinet also praised the king’s orders on the payment of financial rewards to military personnel serving at the Kingdom’s southern frontline, and cost of living allowances for retired employees and social security beneficiaries, as well as the increase of stipend payments for students.
The Cabinet also appreciated the king’s orders on the government’s bearing the value-added tax (VAT) of citizens benefiting from private health and education services and the payment of VAT in the purchasing price of a citizen’s first house, as long as it does not exceed SR850,000 ($226,636).
The Cabinet stressed that the king’s orders came from his keen desire to care for the country’s citizens and provide continued support to them toward a decent life, and to ensure a distinct living standard for all segments of society.
King Salman also briefed the Cabinet on the phone call made to Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah; his talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razzaq and President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, during which agreements of cooperation were signed; and the results of his meeting with the Speaker of House of Representatives of Arab Republic of Egypt Dr. Abdel-Aal.
At the regional level, the Cabinet welcomed the statement issued by Arab foreign ministers at their meeting in Jordan on the consequences of a US decision to recognize Al-Quds as a capital of Israel, which stressed that Al-Quds will remain a central issue for the Arabs and key to peace in the region. It also supported the reference in the statement that no peace or stability will be achieved unless an independent Palestinian state is established with its capital in East Quds.
The Cabinet further expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of a terrorist attack on a mosque in Nigeria and renewed the Kingdom’s rejection of such terrorist acts.
Later, the Cabinet approved a series of memos of understanding on cooperation in the areas of Islamic affairs, minerals and energy, education and science, telecoms and information technology between the Kingdom and Djibouti, China, Sweden and Russia, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet ordered the activation of anti-begging offices at the Ministry of Labor and Social Development and continuation of the security forces at the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah to fully undertake their responsibility in fighting begging at the Two Holy Mosques.

Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

Updated 10 min 5 sec ago

Saudi public prosecution announces results of investigation into Khashoggi killing

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday he was seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed in the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 after a struggle by a lethal injection dose and his body was dismembered and taken out of the building, he told reporters in Riyadh.

The Prosecutor said Khashoggi’s body parts were then handed over to a local Turkish agent outside the consulate grounds, the spokesman said, adding that a sketch of the agent has been prepared and will be handed over to the Turkish authorities.

He said that the head of Khashoggi’s repatriation team was the one who ordered the killing of the victim, adding that the investigations into the whereabouts of the victim’s body are still ongoing.

He noted that the mission of the team was to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom.

The prosecutor said a former adviser had been due to meet the team that was ordered to repatriate journalist Khashoggi, who was killed after efforts to negotiate his return failed.

He added that the ex-advisor had been banned from travelling and remained under investigation, and that the case has been transferred to court while investigations continue.

The prosecutor said Saudi Arabia has requested Turkey to sign a cooperation deal on a probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“We have requested the brotherly Turkish authorities to sign a special cooperation mechanism specific to this case in order to provide them with the results of the investigation,” he said, adding that “the public prosecutor is still awaiting a response to these requests.”