1999 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the

Council of Ministers and made reference to the recent visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan

Nawaz Sharif, which, he said, was aimed at further strengthening bilateral relations and

discussing issues of mutual interest. Crown Prince Abdullah went on to say that it also

provided an opportunity for the government of Saudi Arabia to express its appreciation of

the wise stand taken by Pakistan in lessening the tension with India over Kashmir and Jammu

and furthering the goal of reaching a permanent, just and peaceful solution to the dispute,

taking into consideration legitimate rights of self-determination in accordance with the

relevant United Nations resolutions, the recommendations of the Organization of the Islamic

Conference, the Simla Agreement, and the Lahore Declaration.

Reviewing the Middle East situation, the cabinet reiterated the need to restart the stalled

peace process in accordance with the Madrid Agreement and the Wye River Memorandum, and the

principle of land for peace. The cabinet stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will

continue to support the Palestinian people until their state is established with Al-Quds

[Jerusalem] as its capital. The cabinet also urged that negotiations on the Syrian and

Lebanese tracks be resumed, and called for intensified efforts from European countries and

from the two co-sponsors of the peace process, especially the United States of America,

towards a comprehensive, just, and permanent peace in the region. Referring to statements

by the new Israeli government, Crown Prince Abdullah stated that they contained positive

signs of commitment to peace and implementation of agreements ensuring that peace is

reached. These signs, he said, must be translated into reality, so that the region can

enjoy security and stability, guaranteeing a better future for all its people.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet discussed issues related to the transfer of

technology, and referred to the contribution of research centers at Saudi universities and

elsewhere, as well as the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology, in preparing

Saudi manpower to deal with advanced technology for the benefit of both government and the

private sector. Crown Prince Abdullah stated that such transfer of technology remains one

of the pillars of the Kingdom's economic development, citing the recent approval by

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz of the establishment of a number

of new colleges and institutions which are directly concerned with science and technology.