2000 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of

the Council of Ministers, which expressed pleasure at the safe return from Baghdad of the Saudi plane that

was hijacked on Saturday, and urged the Iraqi government to extradite the hijackers in accordance with

Arab and international agreements on terrorism.

King Fahd began the meeting with a briefing on his talks with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and with

King Abdullah II of Jordan during their visits to Saudi Arabia this week. Of particular concern during these

talks, he said, was the current deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories in the wake of Israel's

brutal aggression, inhuman practices, and breach of the simplest of human rights. King Fahd reiterated the

Kingdom's condemnation of Israel's continuing violations and use of weapons against unarmed

Palestinians, saying this behavior demonstrates an excess of bloodshed, a detriment to the capabilities of

the Palestinian people, and a challenge to international support of the Palestinians' just cause. The King

reconfirmed Saudi Arabia's staunch support of the Palestinian people for the restoration of all their rights,

including that of establishing their independent state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital.
King Fahd then briefed the cabinet on telephone calls he and Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the

National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz had made with a number of world leaders in support

of Arab action and the activation of an international role in curbing Israel's aggressive practices. The

cabinet stressed the importance of unifying ranks among Arab and Islamic nations in order to guarantee

the Palestinians' rights and bring about a lasting and fair peace in the region.
Turning to domestic affairs, the cabinet mandated the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Minerals (SCPM)

to take over the authority of the Higher Council of Saudi Aramco, retroactive to the formation of SCPM on

January 3, 2000. It also authorized the Minister of Interior or his deputy to draft an agreement on security

cooperation with the Republic of the Philippines. It authorized the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy

to draft a memorandum of understanding for coordination and consultation between the Saudi Foreign

Ministry and that of the Republic of India, and to draft an agreement for cooperation in economic,

commercial, investment, technical, cultural, sports and youth fields with the government of New Zealand.

The cabinet also agreed to renew, effective October 23, 2000, the commercial and economic agreement

concluded with the Syrian Arab Republic in 1971.