Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and reconfirmed the concern of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, to follow moderation in its relationships with the world's nations. Crown Prince Abdullah stated that the policy laid down by King Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdulrahman Al-Saud is based on a strong foundation built on commitment in word and deed to Shari'ah and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, and confirmed that the Kingdom "respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states, never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries, and by the same token does not wish interference from others in its domestic affairs."
Information Minister Dr. Fuad Ibn Abdulsalaam Al-Farsi reported that Crown Prince Abdullah went on to highlight the Kingdom's efforts for peace and stability in the world, particularly in the Middle East where peace is suffering from Israeli intransigence in spite of the consensus of all Arab and international parties on the principle of land for peace, Madrid, and all agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. In this regard, the cabinet expressed its satisfaction at the positive developments to put an end to the ordeal of the Lockerbie incident.
After being briefed by the Minister of Finance and National Economy about rumors circulating this past week concerning the exchange rate of the Saudi currency and steps taken by the Saudi Monetary Agency (SAMA) to attain stability in the market value of the riyal, the cabinet denied that there was ever a plan to make any amendment to the current exchange rate of the riyal against the U.S. dollar.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet discussed a number of issues related to the service of the nation and citizens, notably new regulations for Hajj and the decision of the Interior Ministry to limit the number of times a Saudi citizen or resident expatriate can perform the pilgrimage to once every five years, effective the up-coming Hajj season. The cabinet appealed to Saudi citizens who intend to perform Hajj to cooperate with local authorities, who are seeking to provide the best services for the guests of God.
The cabinet then authorized the General President of Youth Welfare or his representative to sign a draft agreement on cooperation between the Kingdom and the Republic of Chad in the field of youth and sports, and approved a request by the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce to purchase a plot of land as the site of its new headquarters in Dammam in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.