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MENAFN - Arab News - 04/09/2012

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Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Salman is greeted by ministers and officials following the Cabinet meeting in Jeddah on Monday. (SPA)
(MENAFN - Arab News) The new General Authority for Audio and Visual Media, whose bylaw was endorsed by the Council of Ministers yesterday, will regulate and develop the media sector in accordance with the Kingdom's media policies.

"The authority will be an independent body in terms of finance and administration, the Cabinet said, adding that it would have an independent annual budget. However, it would come under the Ministry of Culture and Information.

"The authority will be the responsible agency for the transmission of audio and visual media and its content," said Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja while explaining the Cabinet decision.

It will have a department for issuing licenses, the minister said, adding that it would monitor activities of service providers and make sure they follow the necessary regulations and conditions. "The department will also receive complaints," he added.

The authority will have a board of directors chaired by the minister of culture and information and will include its president, the governor of
Telecommunication and Information Technology Commission, representatives of government departments and two experts (appointed by the Cabinet).
The Cabinet, which was chaired by Crown Prince Salman, the regent, reshuffled the Military Service Council. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah is the council's chairman while Prince Salman is deputy chairman. Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Interior Minister Prince Ahmed and Intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who is also secretary-general of the National Security Council, are among its members.

Other members are: Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, state minister and commander of the National Guard; Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf; and three members to be appointed by the king through a royal decree.

The Cabinet approved the agreements signed with Albania and Bermuda to scrutinize financial transactions and exchange information related to money laundering and terror funding.

At the outset of the Cabinet meeting, Prince Salman, on behalf of King Abdullah, commended OIC leaders for making the Makkah summit a big success.

"A spirit of Islamic brotherhood and feelings of love and frankness prevailed over the summit," the regent said. The leaders have expressed their desire for strengthening Islamic solidarity with all its dimensions, he added.

The Cabinet congratulated King Abdullah for the success of the summit that has adopted his proposal to establish a center for dialogue between various Muslim religious sects. It also adopted the Makkah Charter for strengthening Islamic solidarity.

Referring to the Syrian crisis, the Cabinet expressed its hope that the new UN and Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi would be successful in ending violence and bloodbath in the war-ravaged Arab country. It commended the resolutions taken by the GCC foreign ministers during their Jeddah meeting.

The Cabinet appointed Saad bin Abdullah Al-Ajlan financial adviser at the Naval Force; Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al-Hojairi deputy mayor of Jeddah; Hussein bin Shuwaish Al-Shuwaish economic adviser at the Finance Ministry; Saud bin Nissar Al-Hazmi director general of the information minister's office; and Yahya bin Nasser Al-Yahya director general of administrative and financial affairs at the Labor Ministry.


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