Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and welcomed the new members, expressing his appreciation of the efforts made by all the Ministries during the term of the previous cabinet, and exhorting the new cabinet to continue to serve the country and its citizens.
Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd then spoke of cohesion among the peoples and states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in terms of friendship, affection, and true brotherhood. King Fahd affirmed the Kingdom's support for any honest effort aimed at enhancing these ties, pointing out how Saudi Arabia is working to support the GCC and enable it to play its role in benefiting its citizens.
The cabinet then discussed a report on the latest developments in the dispute in Kashmir, and expressed its concern that this could lead to a dangerous escalation, threatening the security and stability of the region. The cabinet reiterated the Kingdom's call for India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and seek a solution through peaceful means, avoiding the use of force and preserving innocent lives. The cabinet also reaffirmed its call on the United Nations to intervene to resolve this dispute in order to preserve international peace and security.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet adopted a number of resolutions, including approval of the fourth amendment of the agreement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was endorsed by the IMF's Council of Governors during its annual meeting held in Hong Kong from September 22 to 25, 1997.