KUWAIT: His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chairs the Cabinetís meeting. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Minister of Finance and Acting State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel and several officials of the Ministry of Finance and Kuwait Investment Authority apprised the Cabinet of the main features of the draft state budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021. The Cabinet expressed appreciation for efforts made by the Ministry of Finance in preparing the draft budget, hoping that the desired goals would be achieved. It decided to refer the draft budget to the Cabinet’s Economic Affairs Committee to study it and make recommendations and proposals to rationalize spending and diversify sources of income.

It reviewed the recommendations made by the Cabinet’s Legal Affairs Committee regarding the two draft laws approving an agreement appended to the Partitioned Neutral Zone Agreement and the Submerged Divided Zone Agreement adjacent to the Divided Zone between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and a draft law approving a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the State of Kuwait and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It decided to approve the two draft laws and referred them to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to review them and refer them to the National Assembly.

Minister of Oil and Minister of Electricity and Water Dr Khaled Al-Fadhel briefed the Cabinet about the outcome of the recent visit to Kuwait by Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Managing Director and CEO of Qatar Petroleum Saad Al-Kaabi during which an agreement was signed between Kuwait and Qatar on Kuwait’s purchase of up to three million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually for a period of 15 years to meet the growing demand for energy in the country, especially from electricity and other energy sectors.

Regional developments

At the beginning of its weekly meeting held on Monday at the Seif Palace under chairmanship of His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah briefed the Cabinet about the outcome of his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, where he visited Kuwaiti forces participating in Yemen’s Restoration of Hope Operation.

The Cabinet then mulled the recent rapid developments in the region, and voiced grave concerns about the continuing escalation and its serious repercussions on regional security and stability. In this regard, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Khaled Al-Saleh and representatives of relevant ministers, senior security and military leaders informed the government about the preparations and precautionary measures taken by various government agencies to face any emergency at this delicate time in the region.

This came a day following the meeting chaired by His Highness the Prime Minister and attended relevant government ministers to review regional developments and discuss government preparations for any scenario. Following their presentation, the Cabinet hailed their plans and measures and asked them to continue their efforts to help preserve the state’s sovereignty, security and stability. The government urged vigilance and cautiousness to face all possibilities. It demanded cooperation and coordination among all government agencies to preserve the security and stability and guarantee the availability of all basic needs of citizens and residents.

The Cabinet advised citizens to embody national unity and offer the required assistance to government agencies to establish security and stability in the country and to retain their safety and interests. Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti government called on the international community to assume its responsibility towards maintaining the security and stability of this vital region. It called on all parties to exercise restraint to overcome the current critical stage in the region, wishing everlasting security, stability and prosperity for sisterly and friendly countries.

The Cabinet also discussed political affairs in the light of reports related to the overall current developments in the political arena at the Arab and international levels. In this regard, the Cabinet condemned the terrorist attack on a bus in northwestern Burkina Faso, which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries. It reiterated Kuwait’s firm denunciation of all acts of violence and terrorism, whatever their motives and objectives. The Cabinet also expressed sympathy for the continued wildfires in the Australian province of Victoria. – KUNA