Crown Prince Adbullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, today presided over the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers. He expressed concern at the call to move embassies from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds (Jerusalem), saying that such attempts run counter to UN Security Council Resolutions 478, 242 and 338 which refer to Jerusalem as an indivisible part of the occupied Arab territories. Prince Abdullah urged all nations to resist pressure and not to move their embassies to Jerusalem, which is an Arab city under occupation, and praised the keen interest shown by U.S. President Bill Clinton in not approving the plan to move the U.S. Embassy.
Minister of Information Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that the cabinet discussed the domestic issue of water, one of the most essential of natural resources given the climatic and environmental conditions of the Kingdom. Crown Prince Abdullah stated that due to the steady growth of population and the higher living standards of Saudi society, water planning is now an indivisible part of comprehensive development plans, citing the project of Al-Shu’aybah, which consists of a desalination plant, a power plant, and pipelines carrying water to the cities of Makkah and Taif. He also cited the project of bringing water to the city of Riyadh from the Eastern Province, and mentioned the desalination plant in Asir Province, as well as thousands of wells of various depths that have been dug to provide pure water for the citizens. He further highlighted the advanced level reached by the more than twenty desalination plants on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts, which have a total output of more than 500 million gallons a day, supplying more than 40 cities and towns. He expressed pride in the fact that all of these plants are operated by qualified Saudi personnel.
Crown Prince Abdullah urged all citizens and residents to rationalize their water consumption, and requested that officials in charge of projects continue implementation of government plans for providing adequate water for all. Because of the importance of this issue, the cabinet decided to devote the next session to elaborating on the question of water supply with the aim of working out a comprehensive national plan for water security.
A number of domestic issues were then reviewed, with Crown Prince Abdullah urging officials to place the best interest of the country and its citizens above all other considerations, and praising the efforts made by the Ministry of the Interior and all the security authorities in the detection and apprehension of Abdullah Al-Omari, who set off a bomb in the Qu’baa Mosque while worshipers were offering Friday prayers ten days ago.
Referring to the resolutions passed today by the cabinet, Dr. Al-Farsi said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs or whomsoever he may delegate is authorized to sign an agreement for economic trade and investment, and technical, cultural youth welfare and sports cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.
The cabinet also approved a project for opening an Islamic school at the Islamic Center in Rome under the supervision of the Saudi Embassy there. It also agreed on opening classes for teaching the Arabic language and Islamic studies in similar centers in Canada, Ethiopia, and Turkey.