His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister today chaired this week’s cabinet meeting at Gudaibiya Palace, during which a range of important issues were discussed relating to the Kingdom’s growth and development plans.
During the meeting, headed by His Royal Highness, the cabinet praised the recent speech given by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. In his speech, King Abdullah spoke of the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in supporting Arab and Islamic nations in their efforts to address the dangers of using Islam for the purposes of extremism and terrorism, threatening the unity, security and stability of all countries and their citizens.
The cabinet also expressed Bahrain’s support to King Abdullah for his firm stance and support for the Palestinian cause, specifically in response to the recent brutal attacks by Israel which have targeted innocent civilians in Gaza.
The cabinet moved on to discuss the GCC Development Programme and confirmed that housing projects and other services for Bahrain’s citizens are at the front of the programme’s planned projects, highlighting the total current tendered projects are at US $2 billion, with tenders to be awarded by the year’s end at US $3 billion. The cabinet noted that immediate priority is to be given to the allocation and implementation of the housing projects and services as declared by royal directive.
The cabinet went on to discuss the King Fahad Causeway, and highlighted the free flow of heavy goods vehicles, and how important this is to promoting continued trade, industrial activities and economic growth.
The cabinet also discussed how to prevent the Corona and Ebola viruses from spreading to Bahrain, and decided on specific preventative measures.
The resolutions and recommendations of the recent municipal council session, in addition to a memorandum from the LMRA updating the cabinet on recent developments were also discussed during the meeting. As result, the cabinet directed the LMRA to increase inspections and controls in an effort to limit the number of illegal workers in the Kingdom.
A number of other decisions were made during the weekly cabinet meeting, including:
1. The cabinet mandated His Highness, Shaikh Mohammed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister to coordinate all relevant government entities, including the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, along with various governorates to conduct a review of procedures relating the classification of land and municipal licenses, to ensure that residential areas in Bahrain are not affected by commercial initiatives.
2. To assign a committee that would be headed by His Highness Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the Deputy Premier, and include the membership of His Excellency, the Minister of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning and His Excellency, the Minister of Health with the responsibility to ensure all camels in Bahrain undergo thorough examinations to ensure they are free from the deadly corona virus along with establishing all necessary preventative measures.
3. To stop issuance of entry and work visas for anyone coming from the countries affected by the Ebola virus, including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
4. The cabinet mandated His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the Deputy Prime Minister, to coordinate and follow-up on the implementation of projects under the GCC Development Programme with all relevant government entities, to ensure the projects are achieved in a timely manner.
5. The cabinet expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their constant cooperation in facilitating the easy flow of trucks through the King Fahad Causeway. In this regard, the cabinet praised the actions that have been taken to end the truck congestion on the Causeway. The cabinet specifically highlighted the efforts of the Ministry of Interior, represented by Bahrain Custom Affairs, for implementing the directives to cancel the Card System, and for providing an alternative system to achieve the smooth flow of traffic. The cabinet further praised the efforts to provide land in Salman Industrial area as a gathering point for trucks destined for the causeway.
6. To intensify procedures related to the oversight and inspection of controls to manage and reduce the number of illegal workers operating in Bahrain.
7. The approval of the memorandum on the bill for the ratification of the Protocol amending certain provisions of the Air Transport Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Government of Australia. The cabinet also gave approval for the memorandum on the bill for the ratification of the Air Services Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Government of Tajikistan submitted by the Minister of State for Defence and the Vice President of the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs.