Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which gave approval for the authorities concerned to set up vehicle inspection centers throughout the Kingdom. An inter-governmental committee has been assigned to draft the technical conditions and qualifications for the centers, including minimum standards for machinery and equipment in the workshops, the feasibility of requiring such inspections every two years, and the provision that 50 percent of the technicians be Saudi nationals, with this figure rising to 100 percent within five years. The test is to be applied to all parts of the vehicle, and no vehicle will pass the test unless it maintains standard gas emissions. The test centers themselves will be subject to periodical tests, with inadequate workshops disqualified.
Information Minister Dr. Fuad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd commenced the meeting by extending greetings to citizens, and to all Arab and Islamic nations, on the new Islamic year which began on April 17, 1999, and marks 1,420 years from the date the Prophet Muhammad migrated to Madinah from his birthplace of Makkah. King Fahd expressed the hope that peace, security and stability will prevail in the world during 1420 H, and called on the Islamic world in particular to take a look at the past, scrutinize the Prophet's deeds, and draw useful lessons for the future. King Fahd went on to underscore the necessity of unifying the efforts of the Islamic world to follow the path of advancement and progress, pointing out that Saudi Arabia pursues Shari'ah [Islamic law], assuring success both in this life and in the hereafter, and renders service to the guests of the Two Holy Mosques throughout the year.
King Fahd went on to comment on the tour of the Eastern Province recently carried out by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, saying this came in conformity with the approach of the late founder of the Kingdom, King Abdul Aziz, and the sons who succeeded him. Saudi leaders visit their citizens to exchange views, see at first hand the needs of people, follow-up on strategic projects, and inaugurate new ones. Crown Prince Abdullah opened a number of educational, economic, agricultural, cultural, sports, and industrial projects in the Eastern Province during his visit.
The cabinet then reviewed a report on the situation in the Balkans, including the international efforts to deter the Serbs from their continuing aggression against innocent people in Kosovo. The cabinet warned of the repercussions of the Serbian attempts to push the people of Kosovo out of their regional territories, killing them and leaving them displaced and homeless.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority to sign the draft bilateral agreement on air services between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of South Africa.