RIYADH – The objective of establishing King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) is to institutionalize a base for a knowledge economy that will serve to diversify the Kingdom’s economic resources, the Cabinet said Monday, recalling last week’s remarks by King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, who is also Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAUST.
KAUST will carry out a humanitarian role and serve as a bridge for communication and interaction between cultures, the Cabinet agreed.
Chairing the weekly meeting, King Abdullah briefed the Cabinet on his talks last week with world leaders, including Sunday’s meeting with US peace envoy George Mitchell. The Cabinet hoped that Mitchell’s visit would lay the foundation for a just and comprehensive peace in the region, said Abdul Aziz Mohieddin Khoja, Minister of Culture and Information.
On other matters, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf reported on the meetings of the Joint Arab Financial Institutions attended by Arab finance and planning ministers and governors of central banks last Wednesday in Amman. He said that the Kingdom has reiterated the need for more finance cooperation among Arab countries and for appropriate economic measures to step up the potential of Arab financial institutions, considering the global financial crisis.
The Cabinet also approved sponsorship transfer of laborers, technicians and supervisors between employers having government contracts for operation, maintenance, cleaning and catering projects. The salaries and privileges will remain the same. Transfer fees will be borne by the government. Workers not needed by such contractors will be deported. Approval must be obtained from the government authority concerned on the need for such workers, which the Minister of Labor will evaluate. All financial and administrative posts will be limited to Saudis. Also, government contractors must meet the Saudization percentage defined by the Labor ministry.
The Cabinet also approved continuation of the mechanism of the GCC customs union until completion of the remaining requirements. – SPA
It gave GCC citizens the go-ahead to work in social service jobs. – SPA