1997 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers today, and announced that the Kingdom will continue to reinforce and widen the basic objectives of its current development plans to upgrade the private sector's contribution to the provision of job opportunities. These objectives also focus on diversifying the base of the national economy, and realizing higher growth rates that harmonize with the availability of job opportunities for national cadres and improvement of social welfare services. King Fahd stated that the Kingdom will proceed with its plans to promote the role of the private sector in the development process, and to enhance the productivity of Saudi manpower through training programs and the latest in technological methods, and by any other means that can accelerate the Saudization process.

Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd referred to the incentives enjoyed by the private sector in domestic and foreign markets, making it clear that Saudi Arabia would continue to pursue the free economic policies that have been implemented since the start of the development plans in 1970. He said a climate has now been created, with the completion of the infrastructure, that is conducive to better cooperation and integration between the public and private sectors.
Dr. Al-Farsi said that King Fahd reaffirmed the Kingdom's adherence to the unwavering principles of its foreign policy which advocates mutual respect for all sisterly and friendly countries. King Fahd stated that Saudi Arabia, now as in the past, will continue to remain a distinguished and constructive model in terms of political, economic and humanitarian dealings with all countries in the world, and will strictly abide by the position of good neighborliness, non-interference in the domestic affairs of others, cooperation for ever better and Islamic integration and solidarity, in order to help establish a society on the basis of fraternity, justice and peace under the umbrella of Islamic teachings.
In remarks on foreign policy, King Fahd concentrated on the Palestinian question in general and the issue of the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) in particular. The question of Al-Quds, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, will continue to attract the attention and concern of the Kingdom because the future of the entire peace process in the region depends on how to deal with it. "Any settlement of this question", the King declared, "should take into consideration the UN resolutions, especially number 242 which calls for Israeli withdrawal from the Arab territories occupied in 1967." King Fahd also expressed Saudi Arabia's concern about the efforts being made to eliminate weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East, and to make the region a zone free from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. He cited the dangers imposed by certain regional countries which have not yet signed the relevant agreement.
Dr. Al-Farsi reported that the cabinet, after reviewing the relevant recommendations, approved a number of resolutions, including endorsement of the amendment of the second paragraph of Article 43 of the Agreement on Children's Rights, altering the term "ten experts" to the term "eighteen experts".