KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chairs the Cabinet’s meeting via videoconference. – KUNA

KUWAIT: Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh informed the Cabinet of the “Hawiyati” (Kuwait Mobile ID) smartphone application, launched by the Public Authority for Civil Information that enables both residents and nationals to issue a digital ID to be used at all government and non-government bodies. Speaking in a statement to the press following the Cabinet’s weekly meeting on Monday, Saleh pointed out that this application is a digital alternative to the civil ID and will facilitate services of both expats and citizens.

The Cabinet extolled this application and good efforts made by the authority, and authorized all state departments to adopt the digital ID to be used in all their transactions. Ministers, meanwhile, listened to a presentation by Minister of Health Dr Sheikh Basel Al-Sabah on the developments of the country’s health conditions, the details and statistics pertaining to the injuries, recoveries, deaths and those who are receiving treatment.

At the onset of the virtual meeting, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah briefed the ministers on the stable healthy condition of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, saying that it is improving, said Saleh, also Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs. The ministers expressed their deep satisfaction about His Highness the Amir’s health, praying to Allah Almighty to bless His Highness the Amir with a speedy recovery and full well-being, and his safe return him to the homeland in the near future.

Aid to Lebanon
The ministers were apprised of the directives of His Highness the Deputy Amir and the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on providing aid and relief materials to the brotherly Lebanese people to face the consequences of the huge blast that rocked Beirut port last week. His Highness the Prime Minister informed the Cabinet of the results of the Kuwaiti delegation’s participation in the donors ‘conference on Lebanon that was held via videoconference on Sunday.

The videoconference, co-organized by France and the UN, gathered a number of world leaders and pledged to provide urgent assistance worth about $300 million to help the Lebanese people overcome the repercussions of the Beirut port explosion. During the conference, Kuwait declared the reallocation of the remaining amounts from the prior obligations of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development worth $30 million, in agreement with the Lebanese government to cover the costs of rebuilding the damage resulting from the blast, in addition to urgent medical and food aid worth $11, Saleh, also Minster of State for Cabinet Affairs, said.

The Cabinet expresses its sincere condolences to Lebanon and the families of the victims in particular, stressing Kuwait’s solidarity with brothers in Lebanon and its backing to every effort that contributes to mitigating the impacts of this humanitarian disaster, he noted. In addition, the Cabinet is following up with deep sorrow the effects resulting from the massive blast in the Beirut port and the consequent of severe damage that claimed the lives of dozens of people, and injured thousands of persons, in addition to several missing and severe material damage.

Residence of foreigners
Meanwhile, the Cabinet was informed of the recommendations by the Legal Affairs Committee on a draft law regarding the residence of foreigners that aims to address and settle the deficiencies and gaps shown by the reality of applying foreigners’ residency law issued six decades ago. The draft included a set of provisions aimed at boosting coordination of procedures and provisions of supervision on circumventing the law and combating trade in residencies and illegal profiting therein.

Furthermore, it was briefed on a draft law on practicing medicine, its auxiliary professions, the rights of patients and health facilities that aim to regulate the practice of these professions and legalize medical transactions at their institutions and their human staff as well as the rights of patients. The Cabinet decided to approve the two draft laws and referred them to His Highness the Deputy Amir in preparation to send them to the parliament.

The Cabinet was told about the committee’s recommendation regarding the views of the economic affairs committee to contribute to backing small and medium-sized enterprises, and urged the concerned authorities to expedite approving the government procurement program, the regulations and decisions necessary to implement Law No. 74/2019 on amending the provisions of Law No. 49/ 2016 regarding tenders. It was also informed of the committee’s recommendation on the annual report of the body tasked with following the government’s general performance of 2019. It commended good efforts made in preparing the report and decided to task the bodies with taking measures required to address observations and implement recommendations in the report.

Money laundering
The Cabinet was briefed on the committee’s recommendation on the plan of action of the national commission on combating money laundering and financing terror. The government decided to assign the national committee on combating money laundering and financing terror to intensify efforts and boost coordination with Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Affairs, Capital Markets Authority, Public Authority for Combating Corruption, Kuwait Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Bank of Kuwait, Public Prosecution and General Administration of Customs for achieving international requirements of evaluation.

The ministers considered the recommendation in the report of the Public Services Committee on addressing the existing environmental conditions in Kuwait Bay. They assigned the Environment Public Authority in coordination with the Ministry of Public Works and some other authorities to take all necessary measures to address these conditions, and implementing temporary and permanent solutions to ensure avoiding potential risks to the marine and coastal environment in Kuwait. They mourned former minister of industry and trade Ahmad Rashid Al-Haroun who passed away recently, recalling his national efforts and contributions.

Pilgrims’ health
The ministers lauded the precautionary preparations and organized efforts made by Saudi Arabia to ensure means of perfuming easily rituals of pilgrimage, pointing to the wonderful and safe organization amid the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). They said this organization reflected a civilized image and a good example of brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and their keenness on maintaining the safety and health of pilgrims.

The Cabinet discussed the political affairs and the latest developments on both Arab and international arenas. It voiced its great sorrow over the crash of Air India Express plane, south of India, last Friday that led to the killing and wounding of several people. The Cabinet offered its condolences to Indian President and the families of the victims. It extolled efforts made by Bahrain’s authorities that foiled attempts of smuggling explosives into Bahrain, expressing Kuwait’s support to the Kingdom of Bahrain in all measures taken to preserve its security and stability. – KUNA