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 appealed to the warring factions in Afghanistan to give priority to the interests of the Afghan people, otherwise the development of their country will continue to be crippled and the people will continue to suffer the grave consequences of civil war.   Turning to the situation in several other Islamic countries that are subject to internal differences or oppression and abuse of national rights, King Fahd noted with sorrow that in Somalia as well as in Afghanistan there are tragic circumstances due to internal differences among the leaders, and noted with deep regret the catastrophic suffering of the people of Kosovo and the people Palestine due to Serbian and Israeli oppression respectively.

Information Minister Dr. Fuad Ibn Abdulsalaam Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd called on the Afghan leaders to unite ranks in the service of their country and of the Muslim people, and seek integrity, security, stability and prosperity.   The King also indicated that the perpetual Israeli violations against the holy city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the obstinate practices against Palestine and in the occupied territories of southern Lebanon and the Syrian Golan Heights have led to deep suffering of the Arab Muslim people in these areas.
The King then briefed the cabinet on the outcome of his talks with U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, saying the meeting dealt with the firm historic relations based on mutual respect and common interests between the two countries, and referring to the joint statement issued by the two sides in which there was confirmation of the commitment to complete cooperation within the framework of their endeavor to realize fair and permanent peace in the Middle East based on UN resolutions 242 and 338, and the formula of land-for-peace.   The two sides agreed that the best way to reach peace is by full implementation of the accords concluded in Oslo and Washington, and underscored the importance of resumption of negotiations on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks.  The statement also included reference to the role of the Kingdom as a reliable source of energy in today's world, and the Kingdom's appreciation of U.S. support for its application to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions including deputizing the General President of Youth Welfare or his representative to sign a draft cooperation agreement between the Kingdom and the Republic of Azerbeijan in the field of youth and sports, and approval for the renewal of the economic and commercial protocol between Saudi Arabia and the government of the Republic of Lebanon.