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Top Saudi Arabia Business NewsFrom the Local Press

      

Shoura Council to be revamped this week
Jeddah 20th May 2001

 The Kingdom will reshuffle the Shoura Council this week by changing half of its 90 members, press reports said yesterday quoting high-level sources.

Al-Madinah Arabic newspaper said the new members would be sworn in by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd. The sources said King Fahd would spell out the Kingdom’s domestic and foreign policies in an address to the Shoura Council’s annual session.

Muhammad ibn Jubair, president of the Shoura, will hold a dinner in Riyadh today in honor of all the council members, the paper said.

Speaking to Okaz newspaper, Ibn Jubair said the council members are allowed to express their opinions on all matters. “There is no red line or sensitive area. They can express their views on every issue on the agenda,” the Shoura chief said.

Asked about opposition in the Shoura Council, Ibn Jubair said: “If you mean opposition blocs similar to those in parliaments in other countries, then we don’t have such a system. Any member can express his opinion on the government’s projects and policies. Some projects win our approval and some do not. Some bills are passed only by a small margin when put to vote.”

Ibn Jubair denied reports that the council would make use of the services of women as full-time or part-time advisers. “The Shoura will seek women’s opinions on issues related to them,” he told Al-Watan Arabic daily.

He dismissed as unfounded reports that a special committee had been set up to select the new council members. “There is no truth in it. The Shoura members are nominated by the country’s ruler,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Shoura Council endorsed a free-trade zone agreement between Saudi Arabia and Syria yesterday. It also approved the power grid project linking the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

Dr. Hamoud Al-Badr, the Shoura’s secretary-general, said the council meeting approved the free-trade zone agreement after hearing a report on the project.

The council reviewed a proposal submitted by the economic affairs committee calling for cancellation of the system of relations between a foreign contractor and his Saudi agent under the foreign investment law.

“After deliberations the proposal was approved,” Al-Badr said.


Source: Arab News©
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20 May 2001 06:38:42 PM

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