Concerning the Kingdom’s long-term rejection of terrorism in all forms, the Saudi Cabinet on Monday condemned the use of chemical attack in Syria committed by the Syrian regime. The Cabinet also expressed all its support to the US military operation against selected targets in Syria. The Kingdom also lauded the Arab Coalition’s efforts to support the restoration in Yemen and to provide humanitarian aid through King Salman Center for Humanitarian and Relief Aids. Moreover the Cabinet appreciated King’s efforts to unify Arab and Muslim ranks in facing the difficult conditions of the Arab and Islamic countries. In fine the Cabinet approved a series of decisions.
Following an apparent chemical attack against innocent civilians by President Assad’s regime and the US missile strike in response to it on Friday, Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s support for the military operations against military targets in Syria. On Thursday US President Trump ordered a massive military strike on a Syrian air base and the Saudi Ministry described this action as “a corageous decision” after the failure of the international community to stop Syrian regime. Moreover Bahrain also expressed support to the military US response, saying that the action was necessary to save the lives of Syrian people.
During his reception of Senior Yemeni tribal sheikhs on Wednesday, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Yemen represents “the strategic depht of the Arab nation” and that the biggest mistake of the enemy was to target Yemen, which made all the Arab world alert to what is happening there. The Deputy Crwon Prince also expressed Saudi support to Yemen and also the mobilization of Arabian Gulf states, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Morocco and all the arab and Islamic world. On the other side the Yemeni tribal sheikhs thanked the Saudi government for the meeting, for supporting Yemeni legitimacy and for the efforts of the Arab coalition to restore security and stability.
During the 28th Arab Summit opening session King Salman stressed the importance of a peaceful solution to the crisis in Yemen based on the Gulf initiative and outputs of the national dialogue. He also underlined the importance of unity and stability of Yemen. Moreover he talked about Syria and said that in Syria in necessary a peaceful solution too. In fine King Salman highlighted that “the most dangerous thing facing our Arab nation is terrorism and extremisms”.
Saudi Arabia approved a new tax regime for oil and natural gas producers on Monday. Under the new regime hydrocarbon companies will be taxed depending on their capital, therefore companies with capital of more than SR375 billion will pay 50 percent income tax, those with capital between SR300 billion and SR375 billion will pay 65 percent tax, those with capital between SR225 billion and SR300 billion will pay 75 percent of tax and those with capital below SR225 billion 85 percent of tax. The consequence will be a boost of Saudi Aramco’s valuation and it will see its income tax fall from 85 percent to 50 percent. The new rates will also put the company in line with international benchmarks and the new rate is effective retroactively from Jan. 1. Moreover future investrors interested in buying Saudi Aramco shares will see more clash flow. In fine the government will not lose income due to the fact that any reduction in tax is replaced by stable dividend payments.
The coalition Command to Support the Legitimacy in Yemen said today in a statement that Saudi border cities were targeted by Houthi militias with smuggled rockets through the port of Al-Hodeidah. The Command added that the Coalition air forces targeted immediately the launching sites and that the Royal Saudi air force intercepted four ballistic missiles launched towards the cities of KhamisMushayt and Abha and they destroyed them without causing any damage. In fine the coalition said these actions are the strongest evidence of the continued smuggling of weapons to Yemen especially from the port of Hodeidah.
During the Cabinet session at Yamaha Palace King Salman expressed his hope on the Arab Summit, that will be held in Jordan on Monday, and on the cooperation and solidarity that the summit will encreas in the Arab countries. Moreover on the latest development on the global level the Cabinet expressed its comdannation of the terror attack in London, welcomed the ministerial statement about the role of the global coalition to defeat Daesh and expressed ita appreciation on the Saudi donation to the international fund for the protection of cultural heritage compromised during armed conflicts. The Cabinet also authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss with Norway a general agreement for cooperation between the Saudi and Norwegian governments and approved the establishment of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Guatemala.
The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Maj. Gen. Al-Assiri, told Arab News on Saturday that the Saudi Navy is constantly engaged in mine-sweeping on Yemeni shores planted by Houthi militias. Many naval mines were found near the southwestern port city of Mokha and were there to target the international shipping boats and for that reason the Saudi-led coalition warned the international maritime movements. Moreover few days ago there were an incident, a fishing boat hit a mine off the Yemeni shores and seven fishermen were killed. In fine since January forces allied with the national Yemeni government have controlled the strategic port near Mokha and the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) warned of the risk of mines in the strait of Bab al-Mandab.
During the opening of an international conference organized by the Muslim World League (MWL) in Makkha on Sunday, King Salman’s stressed that the Kingdom is an example of protection of human rights, freedom, welfare and comprehensive development for community. He also added that all this will be done in accordance of the islamic values and with the goal of mantaining security. Moreover Prince Khalid, who delivered in an address the King’s words, added that freedom of expression is an integral part of the overall freedoms and that it is granted in Islam, but it should not involve attacks on religion, its rituals or holy places. Prince Khalid also said media should be responsible of spreading spiritual values and humanity and that freedom is one of the most important human values.
Concerning King Salman’s Asian tour, Mohammed al-Khunaizi a senior member of the Shoura Council told Arab News that the aim of the visit to the Southeast Asian countries is to sustain good relations with them and for the benefit of the Saudi economy that will reach Saudi Vision 2030 goals. The tour will also bring benefits to the Gulf states and the wider Islamic world and also the economy of the Kingdom, which will grow faster as a consequence of the signing of agreements worth billions of dollars. Moreover Dr. Majed Abdullah Al-Hedayan, a legal consultant and investment expert in Riyadh, said the tour comes at a time when the Kingdom is trying to diversify its economy and consolidate its relations with the Muslim world around Asia and the tour principal aim is to deepen relations between Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Asian countries in terms of economy but also security and stability.