Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which confirmed the need to create a mechanism for tourism in the Kingdom and ordered the formation of a Supreme Commission for Tourism (SCT) to administer it. Tourism is accredited as a productive sector that has the aim of attracting Saudi nationals to look for recreation within the Kingdom, increasing investment opportunities, developing human resources, and creating jobs for Saudis. The cabinet identified public places, not owned by individuals, such as coastal areas, forests, mountains, valleys and national parks, as potential tourist locations, with specific sites to be named by the SCT. The cabinet bars private ownership of such locations, stating that investment will be directly by the government or by means of leases to the public through open bids.
Referring to the recently-issued system for foreign investment and the formation of the General Corporation for Investment (GCI), King Fahd stressed the importance of expanding the Kingdom's investment potential and creating facilities for both foreign and national investors. He reiterated Saudi Arabia's concern to deal with global development, particularly in its positive framework, including attracting both foreign and domestic capital by setting up joint investment ventures and continuing to ease regulatory and administrative measures related to the licensing of foreign investment in the Kingdom. King Fahd went on to urge all authorities concerned to upgrade their performance at all levels in order to attract foreign investment, and stressed the important role of Saudi businessmen and the private sector in boosting the economy through their contribution in establishing joint investment ventures. Meanwhile, he said, the Saudi investor enjoys confidence, credibility, and the seriousness of his endeavor, adding that the infrastructure and strong capabilities available in the Kingdom have yielded a strong Saudi industrial sector that is gaining the ability to compete in foreign as well as local markets.
King Fahd then briefed the meeting on the outcome of his recent talks with visiting Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, confirming the depth of fraternal relations binding the two countries and reiterating the Kingdom's constant stand beside Lebanon for the restoration of all its usurped territories in accordance with United Nations resolutions, notably number 425, in order to enable the Lebanese people to enjoy security and stability. The cabinet also reiterated the Kingdom's support of the peoples of Palestine and Syria in their negotiations for the restoration of all their occupied territories, underscoring the importance of a comprehensive, permanent and just peace in the region, and expressing regret at seeing the peace process crippled due to Israel's arrogance.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet assigned the Minister of Interior or his deputy to discuss with the Iranian side a draft agreement for security cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.