1998 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and welcomed HRH Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz as the newest minister of state and cabinet member. King Fahd went on to express profound concern over reports that India had recently conducted nuclear tests.  Information Minister Dr. Fuad Ibn Abdulsalam Al-Farsi reported that the cabinet considers India's move as negative in view of efforts exerted by the international community to realize world security and stability, and to create areas free of nuclear weapons.  The cabinet underscored the firm stance of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in calling for complete prohibition of the deployment of weapons of mass destruction, including  nuclear weapons, and urged all members of the international community to refrain from conducting such tests, which threaten all of mankind.

As the Kingdom's first education minister and founder of its first education system, King Fahd expressed pleasure over the establishment last week of King Khalid Ibn Abdul Aziz University in Abha, following the merger of the Abha-based branch of King Saud University and that of the Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University.   Dr. Al-Farsi remarked that this university, the Kingdom's eighth, was initially to be named after Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz who, during the ceremony of laying its foundation stone last week, decided to name it after late King Khalid.   King Fahd then made reference to how the government provides not only universities but girls' colleges, teacher training institutes, vocational and technical training institutes and military and security colleges, and how this takes into consideration coordination between development needs and human resources in a way that realizes optimum utilization of these resources and meets actual future needs for managerial and technical leadership.
The King then briefed the cabinet on the outcome of his talks with Eritrean President Isias Eferwerki concerning bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as the latest developments at regional and international levels, including the visit of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri.  
The cabinet also discussed with deep concern the tragic results of bloody confrontations between the occupying Israeli authorities and the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, considering this development an outrageous expression of the latter's frustration in the face of Israel's intransigent and obstinate ways.  The cabinet called on the world community, in particular the government of the United States of America, to move quickly to contain the volatile situation which augers ill with the ugliest of consequences, by taking measures to guarantee the return of the peace process to its correct track and to urge the Israeli government to meet its commitments and obligations in order to enable the people of Palestine to acquire their legitimate rights, above all that of self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital.   In addition, the cabinet emphasized the importance of restarting the peace process on the Lebanese and Syrian tracks and of implementing UN Security Council Resolution 425 calling for unconditional withdrawal of Israel from southern Lebanon.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of the security cooperation agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Senegal, and authorization for the Minister of Interior or his representative to sign the draft agreement for cooperation in the areas of economics, commerce, investment, science and technology, culture, youth and sports, between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.