Newly appointed Saudi Cabinet members sworn in

King Salman receives newly appointed ministers at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 02 January 2019

Newly appointed Saudi Cabinet members sworn in

  • King Salman also presided over Tuesday afternoon’s Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace

RIYADH: King Salman swore in the new Cabinet ministers at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The ministers included Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd as minister of state; Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz as minister of national guard; Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Mubarak as minister of state; Dr. Hamad bin Al-Asheikh as minister of education and minister of information; and Turki Al-Shabanah as media minister.

Other officials were sworn in included Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz as governor of Asir, Prince Badr bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz as deputy governor of Makkah, and Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz as governor of Al-Jouf.

Furthermore, King Salman presided over Tuesday afternoon’s Cabinet session at Al-Yamamah Palace.

The king affirmed that the issuance of a number of royal decrees, which included the restructuring of the Cabinet and some government agencies and the appointment of a number of ministers and officials, stems from the keenness to continue the Kingdom’s development process, achieve the aspirations in the performance of the state’s institutions, and to raise the level of services provided to citizens and residents. 

He also greeted the new ministers and wished all new officials success, while expressing his thanks to former officials for their efforts.

The Cabinet expressed its appreciation to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for emphasizing that economic and structural reforms in the national economy are moving steadily toward achieving the objectives of Vision 2030. These include diversifying the economy, achieving economic stability and financial sustainability, improving the efficiency of public finance management, stimulating the private sector, and working to improve the standard of living for citizens.

The Cabinet appreciated the royal decree that will allow the continuation of the disbursement of allowances for the monthly cost of living for civil and military personnel, pensions and the monthly allowance for social security beneficiaries, while continuing the increase in financial rewards for male and female students for one fiscal year, reflecting the keenness of King Salman to fulfill the needs of all Saudi citizens.

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019

First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.