Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and congratulated all students, male and female, on the start of the new academic year 1998-99, wishing them every success and exhorting them to adhere to the directives of Islamic Shari'ah [Law]. King Fahd went on to attribute the Kingdom's success to the attention paid to education in order to build up new generations to form the base for the realization of the country's noble goals, and referred to the fact that Saudi Arabia is the site of the most sacred places from whence the bright light of truth and certainty has emanated, illuminating the correct path for mankind.
Information Minister Dr. Fuad Ibn Abdulsalam Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd then briefed the cabinet on the prosperous situation of education in the Kingdom, the result of decades of dedicated planning. The total number of students is now close to five million, at about 24,000 schools and eight universities, in addition to those at other institutes, centers, and colleges, such as those affiliated to the General Establishment for Technical Education and Vocational Training. King Fahd urged all teachers, instructors, and university staff to exert the utmost effort to promote the educational process in the Kingdom.The cabinet, reviewing current developments in the Arab, Islamic and international arenas, was briefed by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on the outcome of the Twelfth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held last week under the chairmanship of President Nelson Mandela in Durban, South Africa. The cabinet, referring to the Kingdom's appeal at this Summit for the world community, and in particular the United States of America, to bring to an end Israel's frivolity in respect to the Middle East peace process, especially in connection with the issue of Al-Quds [Jerusalem], reiterated Saudi Arabia's position that the best way to realize security and stability in the region is commitment to the resolutions of the United Nations.
Turning to the situation in Afghanistan, King Fahd called on both Iran and Afghanistan to resort to self-restraint and work towards defusing tension and resolving their differences through peaceful means and constructive dialogue; these constitute the spirit of Islamic fraternity and goodwill, yielding complete cooperation and amicable relations.
The cabinet then passed a number of resolutions on the domestic scene, including endorsement of implementation of the decision of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) issued at its Fourteenth Session regarding provision of equal treatment to private sector citizens of other GCC member states in accordance with the set regulations.