1997 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday and welcomed the pilgrims who are arriving in the Kingdom to perform Hajj, saying that the Kingdom is grateful to Almighty God for enabling it to serve the pilgrims and guarantee their comfort in order to realize the sublime goals of Hajj namely solidarity and cooperation.

Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that the King expressed satisfaction over the services and facilities offered by the concerned ministries and Hajj authorities, and urged the officials to exert their utmost effort and mobilize all potential so that the pilgrims perform their rituals in ease, comfort, and security. In this respect, King Fahd expressed hope that the pilgrims would understand the Saudi responsibility and continual concern to see them undisturbed and free from any political motivation, so as to concentrate on the sublime objective of Hajj as stated in Islamic shariah.

King Fahd then reviewed the history of the services the Kingdom has rendered to the pilgrims ever since it was founded by King Abdul Aziz and gave assurance that such great integrated services will be perfectly advanced in the future. He said that the SR 70 billion (U.S. $ 18.7 billion) spent over the last ten years on the expansion of the Two Holy Mosques contributes to the accommodation of up to a million and half worshippers in the Holy Mosque and two thirds of that number in the Prophet's Mosque.

After reviewing the items on its agenda, the cabinet decided to reconstitute the Board of the Institute for Diplomatic Studies to have nine members chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or whoever he delegates. The council also approved the accord for setting up the Arab organization for classification of sea-going vessels.

The Information Minister concluded his statement by announcing that the next meeting of the cabinet would be on Monday, May 5, 1997.