Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and gave thanks to God Almighty for the complete success of the recent pilgrimage to Makkah, performed by nearly two million Muslims. King Fahd reported that pilgrims had been able to perform their Hajj, the fifth pillar of the Islam, in an atmosphere characterized by security, faith, comfort and stability, thanks first to the grace of God, and then as a result of the strenuous efforts and sincere work of the Kingdom's citizens. Asking God to accept the Hajj of all the pilgrims, who had come seeking His forgiveness, he expressed appreciation of the various officials and personnel, both private and government, who had worked to render the best possible services to His guests.
King Fahd then congratulated the Muslim world on the upcoming advent of the hijrah year 1421 [which begins on April 6, 2000], saying: "I pray God Almighty that we see a new year where security, stability and peace prevail, and where all the countries of the world seek to consolidate fruitful, constructive and cooperative ties for the good of all mankind".
The cabinet went on to express regret over Israel's practices aimed at foiling efforts being made to bring about peace in the region on all tracks, and confirmed the Kingdom's support for its sister countries to restore all their usurped rights in accordance with agreements concluded under the auspices of the United Nations.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of the draft agreement for economic, commercial, investment and technical cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the Government of the Republic of South Africa; and approval of regulations on the issuing of tourist visas to the Kingdom, instructing the authorities concerned to devise a plan for visits to historical sites by tourist groups.