Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers and voiced the Kingdom’s grave concern over the continued Israeli siege of the West Bank, describing the Israeli measures as an obstacle hindering the peace process and causing a serious problem by fragmenting the Palestinian agricultural structure and raising the rate of unemployment among Palestinians. Prince Abdullah called for these measures to be reconsidered in order to enable the Palestinian people to practice their legitimate rights.
Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that Prince Abdullah further expressed the Kingdom’s hope that the negotiations for a final settlement of the Palestinian question which are scheduled to start in mid-May would yield favorable results, serving the peace process and boosting security and stability in the region.
Reviewing the situation in Chechnya, Prince Abdullah expressed the Kingdom’s pain and concern for its deterioration, and called for settlement of differences through peaceful, constructive dialogue in order to put an end to the conflict and guarantee the rights of the Chechen people to freedom, dignity, security and independence.
Referring to the recent meetings of the fifth session of the permanent information and culture committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which concluded its deliberations in Dakar last Thursday, the Crown Prince expressed the Kingdom’s appreciation for the efforts exerted by Senegalese President Abdou Diouf and for the committee’s decisions concerning the Islamic Information Strategy and the Code of Honor for Islamic media.
Extending a warm welcome to the first of this year’s Hajj pilgrims on the occasion of their arrival in Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdullah directed the concerned ministers and ministries to exert their utmost to provide ease and comfort for visitors to the Holy Places, in accordance with the prepared programs and plans.
Dr. Al-Farsi reported that the cabinet, after due review, adopted the following decisions:
First, the cabinet decided to approve the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Belarus and to delegate the Saudi ambassador in Moscow to sign the protocol for the Saudi side.
Second, the cabinet approved the delegating of the General President of Youth Welfare, or whosoever may act as his deputy, to conduct consultations and to coordinate with Slovakia to prepare a draft agreement on youth and sports cooperation between the two sides, the agreed formula to be submitted to the cabinet for ratification.