In Makkah yesterday, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and affirmed the Kingdom's commitment to the true Islamic path, serving Islam and Muslims, especially in its care for those performing umrah (the minor pilgrimage). King Fahd stressed that Saudi Arabia's efforts and expenditures on the expansion of the Two Holy Mosques, and on services for pilgrims, are in line with its Islamic beliefs. The Kingdom therefore mobilizes all its resources to keep the holy places in good condition, a policy that has been in effect since its foundation by King Abdul Aziz. King Fahd prayed God that Muslims everywhere would accomplish their aspirations for stability and solidarity, and deplored wars, oppression, and all the problems facing a number of Muslim communities, notably that in Chechnya.
Reviewing reports on the rapid developments witnessed by the international economic scene, notably the liberalization of trade and international investments, the cabinet discussed the role that could be played by modern technology in enabling the economies of developing countries to cope with globalization. In this context, the cabinet reiterated the importance of cooperation particularly among the advanced countries in facilitating the transfer of technology. At the same time, it expressed the hope that developing countries intensify efforts to create a suitable atmosphere to attract modern technology and develop it in a way suited to their situations and abilities. King Fahd then issued directives to the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to prepare an international conference on the transfer of technology and globalization.
King Fahd also briefed the cabinet on his talks with King Muhammad VI of Morocco, King Abdullah of Jordan, and Emir of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, noting Saudi Arabia's deep and distinguished relations with these countries.
The cabinet then passed a resolution that certificates of origin and of nutritional validity for goods from the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) be exempted from the requirement of being authenticated by Saudi embassies and consulates in those countries.
It was announced that the next meeting of the Council of Ministers will be on January 24, 2000.