1998 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers. Welcoming the Wye Plantation Agreement reached recently by the Palestinians and the Israelis by means of U.S. mediation, King Fahd expressed the hope that it would be a step forward towards the real peace required by all, in a way that fully preserves the rights of the Palestinian, and that it would constitute a starting point for a new phase leading to a just and comprehensive peace for all the countries of the region.

Information Minister Dr. Fuad Abdulsalaam Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd went on to underscore the importance of the agreement, while emphasizing the necessity for coordination among all members of the international community to exert efforts to put an end to the various aspects of Israel's irresponsible practices, including its perpetual violations of UN resolutions and its illegal plans to affect the identity of the Holy City of Al-Quds [Jerusalem]. The Kingdom stands firm in support of any Arab effort towards peace, security and stability in the region, in a way that complies with our aspirations, including the restoration of all rights based on the UN Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, and 425, and the principle of land for peace. In this respect, King Fahd praised the role being played by the United States of America in its capacity as co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process, which resulted in the signing of the recent agreement, viewed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a positive step towards realizing peace in the region.
Turning to domestic matters, King Fahd commended the support being rendered by the government to the health services, referring to the considerable progress made in terms of human and technological capabilities. King Fahd also paid tribute to the efficiency and ability of the Kingdom's young people in whose hands the future of this sector lies, and exhorted them to greater efforts to serve their country and its citizens.
The cabinet then passed a number of resolutions, including approval of a draft project prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the establishment of free-trade zones between the Kingdom and each Arab country on a bilateral or multilateral basis, and authorization for the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, in collaboration with the Foreign Ministry and other concerned authorities, to embark on the necessary negotiations with interested Arab countries.