Cabinet discusses security situation

Manama, Aug. 31 (BNA): His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has reviewed the security situation in the kingdom following the high-profile security meeting he chaired, in the presence of the representatives of various security agencies.

At the cabinet session, HRH Premier was briefed by the Interior Minister about the recent terror incidents, including the Karranah terror blast that led to the martyrdom of a policeman, and the injury of several security personnel and civilians.

The cabinet followed-up on the security measures taken to deal with terrorists and was assured about their efficiency and ability to contain developments, reassure the citizens and residents about their safety and property and ensure that the security situation is always under control, Secretary-General of the Cabinet Dr. Yaser bin Essa Al-Nasser said in a statement following the session held at the Gudaibiya Palace and chaired by HRH the Premier.

HRH the Prime Minister underlined the importance of expediting retribution procedures to enforce prompt justice and ensure the terrorists receive the punishment they deserve following their heinous deeds, and commended the efforts of the various security bodies.

The session condemned the Karranah terror bombing, praying to Allah Almighty to rest the soul of the martyr in eternal peace, bless his relatives with patience and fortitude and grant the wounded speedy recovery. It also extended profound thanks and appreciation to the citizens, organisations and brotherly and friendly countries that denounced the criminal act.

On education, the cabinet congratulated the administrative and educational staff and the students on the new school year, 2015-2016, wishing them every success.

In another context, HRH Premier issued directives to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce to monitor and follow-up on the prices of goods and foodstuff to ensure they remain in their natural scope and without any manipulation that may have negative impacts on the citizens’ purchasing power, especially amid the regional and international situation and the weather conditions that affected prices regionally and globally.

The session also discussed putting forward regulations to maintain the sanctity of the religious platforms and distance them from the inciting political rhetoric that causes divisions among fellow citizens, ignites tension and conflicts and affects negatively the status of religious pulpits and their preaching and guiding roles, as highlighted in the memorandum presented by the Minister of Interior.

The Interior and Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments ministries were then requested to submit the necessary recommendations in this regard.

A draft law on criminalising contempt of religions, such as insulting divinity, defaming divine books, prophets, Allah’s Messengers, as well as their wives or companions, and any hate and sectarian discourse that undermines national unity, differentiates between individuals or groups on the bases of religion, creed or sect and triggers conflict between individuals or groups, was also discussed.

The bill was presented in the memorandum submitted by the Interior Minister, and was referred to the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs for further study.

The session also discussed the ratification of a number of Arab conventions. They include the Arab Convention for Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, the Arab Anti-Corruption Convention, the Arab Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, the Arab Convention for the Transfer of Inmates at Penal and Correctional Institutions within the framework of implementing the penal codes and the Arab Convention to Combat Cyber Crimes.

They also include the ratification of the amendment to third paragraph of Article One of the Arab Convention on Combating Terrorism regarding the definition of the “Terror Crime”.

The Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs was requested to study the legal procedures required for ratifying the conventions highlighted in the memorandum presented by the Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister.

The session approved the International Framework Agreement signed between the Interior Ministry in Bahrain and the relevant sides in France concerning the National Central Ambulance Project, following the memorandum presented by the Interior Minister in this regard.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Government of Bahrain and the French France Expertise Internationale (FEI) company to implement the Bahraini-French Urban Planning Project, highlighted in the memorandum presented by the Foreign Affairs Minister, was approved.

The cabinet also endorsed two MoUs signed between the Ministry of Information Affairs in Bahrain and both the French Journalists Training Centre (CFJ) and the National Institute for Audio-Visual Media (INA). The MoUs were presented by the Information Affairs Minister.

The cabinet also discussed the ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, presented in the memorandum submitted by the Health Minister, and referred it to the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs for further study.

Another memorandum presented by the same minister on modifying the list of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, based on Law 15/2007, was approved and referred to the relevant sides to take the necessary procedures.

The cabinet discussed a number of proposals submitted by the Council of Representatives and approved the draft government replies prepared by the Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs. The proposals include the setting up of a University of Bahrain (UoB) branch in the Muharraq Governorate and the establishment of a central market at the eastern farm of the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning. The investments of the General Organisation for Social Insurance were also among the proposals.

Concerning ministerial reports, the Energy Minister presented a report on the performance of the electricity and water networks during summer 2015. The cabinet was informed about the efficiency of the network and its ability to cope with the growing demand for electricity which increased by 9%.

HRH the Prime Minister praised the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Energy and the Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) in this regard.

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