Cabinet OKs SRO, PTA merger

Updated 21 March 2016
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Cabinet OKs SRO, PTA merger

RIYADH: The Cabinet in its meeting on Monday announced it had taken several key decisions.

These included authorizing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy premier and interior minister, to hold discussions with Azerbaijan on civil defense cooperation.
The Cabinet was also briefed on the joint statement issued by the fifth meeting of the Saudi-Egyptian Coordination Council held in Riyadh and welcomed the signing of several agreements aimed at boosting bilateral relations.
The Cabinet approved the merger of the Saudi Railway Organization (SRO) and the Public Transport Authority to form the Public Transport Authority (PTA). The PTA will have a board of directors led by the transport minister and members representing the interior, finance, transport, municipal and rural affairs, economy and planning, and commerce and industry ministries. It would also have three representatives from the private sector.
The Cabinet also approved the formation of a committee dealing with transport in the education sector, which would have the mandate of ensure safe and reliable transport, and the employment of Saudis. The committee would comprise officials from the interior, education, labor, and municipal and rural affairs ministries.
The Cabinet approved the establishment of an organizational unit at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs known as the National Urban Observatory that would carry out comparative studies on the state of provinces and regions, with this data made available to other government departments and agencies to improve service delivery.


US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 18 November 2018
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US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”

But President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration would get “a very full report,” including who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, on Monday or Tuesday.
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.