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.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 18 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”