The Shura Council held its regular weekly meeting on Monday under the chairmanship of HE the Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud.

The Speaker congratulated HE Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani on the confidence bestowed on him by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, by appointing him as Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, expressing his aspiration to continue the fruitful and constructive co-operation between the Shura Council and the government.

The Speaker also expressed his thanks and appreciation to HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani for his efforts in serving Qatar and for his keenness during his term as prime minister to co-operate with the Shura Council and follow-up procedures to implement its recommendations.

HE al-Mahmoud renewed Qatar's firm stances towards the Palestinian cause, stressing that there will be no peace in the region unless the full rights of the Palestinian people are recognised, foremost of which is the right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He also stressed that any peace projects that are not in accordance with international law, international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative cannot lead to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, and would increase tension and hinder the chances of a solution.

During the meeting, the Council discussed a draft law regulating the press, publications, publishing, media activities and the arts.

The draft law consists of 74 articles distributed in 12 chapters.

It includes provisions relating to the regulation of the press, media, printing press, publishing house, circulation and distribution of publications, cinemas, theaters, artistic production, private broadcasting stations, advertising, public relations and media services offices.

After discussion, the Council decided to refer the draft to a joint committee comprising the Cultural Affairs and Information Committee and the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee to study it and submit a report thereon to the Council.

At the end of the meeting, HE Speaker of the Shura Council briefed the members on his participation along with his accompanying delegation in the 15th session of the Conference of the Federation of member states of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, during the period from January 27 to 30, as well as his meetings on the sidelines of the conference with the President of Burkina Faso and a number of heads of parliaments of Islamic countries.

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee formed by the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee and the Information and Cultural Affairs Committee of the Shura Council held its first meeting on Monday within its 48th ordinary session.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Committee unanimously elected HE Nasser bin Rashid bin Serayea al-Kaabi as its Rapporteur.

The committee studied a draft law for regulating the press, publications, publishing, media activities and the arts.

The committee decided to complete its study in the next meeting.

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