2007 News Story

King Abdullah chairs Cabinet session

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the weekly Cabinet meeting at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh.  King Abdullah opened the weekly meeting by welcoming the Arab leaders attending the 19th Arab Summit and expressing his optimism that the summit would help Arab countries face their political, economic and cultural challenges.

King Abdullah then briefed the Cabinet on his meetings with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.  He also discussed the recent Saudi-Korean summit, which has created increased opportunities for boost greater political and economic cooperation.

On domestic issues, King Abdullah congratulated the members of the Cabinet on their reappointment and said that the trust given to them reinforced their responsibilities to serve the Kingdom and its citizens.

During the meeting, the Cabinet adopted a number of laws and regulations relating to citizenship, panhandling, and e-crimes and cell-phone abuse.

Specifically, the Cabinet amended Article 16 of the Citizenship Law and will begin to grant Saudi citizenship to foreign women who are married to or widows of Saudi nationals, if they apply for naturalization and rescind their original citizenships.  The law also permits the Minister of Interior to withdraw Saudi citizenship if the marriage is terminated and the wife acquires her previous citizenship or a new citizenship.

To combat panhandling, the Cabinet directed that all Saudis arrested for panhandling should be transferred to the Ministry of Social Affairs in order to receive professional training and jobs.  The Cabinet also required the Ministry of Social Affairs to manage cases involving handicapped and child panhandlers within 24 hours of their detention.  Non-Saudi panhandlers are to be transferred to the Passport Department for processing.

For those convicted of e-crimes, including internet hacking and the misuse of mobile phone and cameras, the Cabinet established a sentence of no more then one year and / or a fine of up to SR 500,000 ($133,300). 

The Cabinet also set the punishment for those convicted of producing terrorist websites, promoting terrorist ideology, or facilitating communications between terrorist leaders and their followers at up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to SR 5 million ($1.33 million).

The Cabinet adopted the recommendation of the Minister of Interior to leave rules governing Hajj service providers unchanged.

The Cabinet ratified the memorandum of understanding with Spain signed in Riyadh on April 8, 2006 and approved the scientific and technological cooperation agreement with Pakistan singed in Islamabad on February 2, 2006.

The Cabinet also approved the following appointments: Dr. Mouda bint Fahd Al-Naeem as educational consultant at the Ministry of Education; Salih bin Mohammad Al-Shihri as director general of the National Center for Meteorology and Environmental Protection at the Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration (MEPA); and Fahd bin Saif Al-Almae'y as civil consultant engineer at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs.