RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced Monday its plan to recruit scores of scientists and experts to support its research programs by issuing a new kind of visa.
The Council of Ministers, which took the decision, said the new visa would be called scientist and expert visa and issued free of charge.
A committee comprising representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education, King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy and Health Services Council would be formed for the recruitment purpose.
The Cabinet, which was presided over by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, also reviewed the developments in neighboring Yemen and the decisions taken by the GCC foreign ministers after their meeting with Yemeni opposition leaders on Sunday.
“The Council of Ministers praised the constructive dialogue that occurred during the meeting and the desire of both sides to narrow their differences in order to make more efforts to ensure security, stability and unity of Yemen,” a Cabinet statement said.
The Cabinet expressed its satisfaction over the international support received by the GCC’s efforts to resolve the Yemeni crisis, especially the statements made by the Arab League, the European Union and the US and French governments.
The Cabinet spoke about the National Heritage and Culture Festival in Janadriyah opened by King Abdullah last Wednesday. “The Janadriyah festival has become an international forum for cultural dialogue and exchanging thoughts and ideas,” it said.
Earlier, the king briefed the ministers on the outcome of his talks with US President Barack Obama two days ago and the content of a message he received from Obama as well as on his meeting with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa in Riyadh last week.
The Cabinet praised Saudi security forces for the arrest of individuals involved in drug smuggling and trafficking and the seizure of large quantities of drugs.
Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said the Cabinet decided to sign an agreement with Tajikistan for cooperation in air transport services and a pact with Kazakhstan in the field of agriculture. It endorsed an accord signed with Bangladesh for cooperation in Islamic and endowment affairs.
It also decided that the state would continue to bear 50 percent of port fees for another three years.
The Cabinet appointed Mansour Shalhoub minister plenipotentiary at the Foreign Ministry; Musaed Al-Hammad director general of the general administration for Mujahedeen at the Interior Ministry; and Mishaal Al-Otaibi director general of health in Qassim.