KUWAIT: His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (center) chairs the Cabinet’s meeting yesterday. – KUNA

KUWAIT: The Cabinet held its weekly meeting yesterday at Seif Palace headed by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. After the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh said the following:

At the beginning of the meeting, His Highness the Prime Minister welcomed Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, at the beginning of the meeting, in his name and on behalf of his sister and brothers, expressing his thanks and appreciation for accepting the responsibility of participating in this government, wishing him success in carrying out his mission and serving his country with the help of his sister and brothers the ministers.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali Al-Sabah thanked His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince for the trust that was given to him, pledging to do his utmost efforts to achieve prosperity to the State of Kuwait.

Later, the Council of Ministers reviewed the contents of His Highness the Amir's speech at the opening of the first ordinary session of the 16th legislative term of the National Assembly, which took place last week, and the inspiring directives contained within, urging members of the National Assembly to make their practice and deliberations a testament for generations to come.

The Cabinet also reviewed the contents of the Amiri speech at the opening of the first ordinary session of the 16th legislative term delivered by His Highness the Prime Minister, in which he emphasized the government's belief that cooperation with constitutional institutions is the cornerstone in achieving sound democratic practice and its stability, as well as the aspiration of the government, with extended hands and a sincere desire for a new approach.

Meanwhile, the Council of Ministers, mourned late Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the former first deputy prime minister and minister of defense, who passed away Sunday. The council mourned with grief and sorrow for the deceased, and in appreciation for his sincere efforts, vowed to assume responsibility for his work efficiently and sincerity in serving his country. The Council of Ministers also mourned the passing of Abdulaziz Mohammad Hmoud Al-Shaya, the former minister of electricity and water, recalling with pride his efforts in serving the nation, his fingerprints and national contributions in various fields.

COVID-19 update
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah explained to the Cabinet the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic at the global, regional, and local levels, especially after the emergence of a new strain of the virus. He reassured the Cabinet about the health situation in the State of Kuwait, which is witnessing improvement and stability, citing data and statistics that confirm the decrease in the number of infections and those who receive treatment, and those in the intensive care units.

The Cabinet also was informed on the latest preparations related to efforts to combat the coronavirus and ways to prevent it, coinciding with the approaching date of the start of the vaccination campaign against this deadly virus.

In this regard, the Cabinet examined the recommendation of the coronavirus emergency ministerial Committee and decided the following:
1- Suspending commercial flights to and from Kuwait International Airport from 11 pm yesterday until the end of Friday, January 1, 2021; however, the continuation of this decision will be reviewed in light of new developments which excluded cargo shipments planes.

2- Closing, land and sea border ports, except for shipping operations.

3- Assigning each of the Ministry of Interior, General Administration of Civil Aviation, General Administration of Customs and Kuwait Ports Authority to implement what was mentioned in the previous decisions. The Council of Ministers called on all citizens and residents to continue to take caution and not be complacent in adhering to health requirements and instructions, and keep away from gatherings to ensure that the spread of the virus is limited in order to preserve the overall health in the country.

Public funds
Minister of Justice Dr Nawaf Saud Al-Yaseen presented to the Council of Ministers the second periodic report (October 2020) of the committee to follow up on public funds issues that included data on public funds issues and the responses of ministries, agencies and government institutions about these issues and their status before the competent authorities, and assigning the minister of justice to transfer the report to the National Assembly.

Then the Cabinet decided to accept a donation made by Ayed Hatlan for the design, licensing, establishment and implementation of a specialized health center in South Sabahiya, with a value of KD 2.5 million. The Council of Ministers expressed its thanks and appreciation for this initiative, which constitutes a vivid embodiment of the Kuwaiti society's cooperation, solidarity, patriotism and true responsibility.

The Council of Ministers then discussed political affairs in light of reports related to the overall current developments in the political arena at the Arab and international levels. In this regard, the Cabinet expressed sincere congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of Qatar and to the brotherly Qatari people on the occasion of the anniversary of the National Day of the State of Qatar, wishing the State of Qatar and its people continued pride, progress and prosperity.

The Cabinet also strongly condemned the terrorist act that targeted the Green Zone in Baghdad, affirming that the State of Kuwait stands with the Republic of Iraq and supports all measures it takes to maintain its security and stability. - KUNA