Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and briefed the cabinet on talks he had had with a number of world leaders visiting the Kingdom, noting that these focused on regional, Arab, Islamic and international developments as well as bilateral relations.
King Fahd went on to praise the fruitful dialogue and sense of cooperation that prevailed at the Seventh International Energy Forum just concluded in Riyadh, noting that the Kingdom had hosted the event out of its interest in cooperation between the oil producing and the oil consuming countries in a way that guarantees stability of the petroleum market and benefits the global economy. In convening the conference, he said, Saudi Arabia demonstrates its persistent endeavors and effective role in international cooperation and the stability of the world economic order, through establishing channels of communication and understanding aimed at realizing constructive rapprochement among oil producing and oil consuming countries in the short and long terms. He reported that serious contributions had been made in the conference's discussions, and an earnest concern to continue dialogue among producing and consuming countries, and to consult with each other in predicting the potential of future cooperation.
King Fahd then highlighted the Kingdom's proposal, submitted to the forum by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, that a permanent secretariat be established for cooperation between oil producers and oil consumers. The Kingdom is ready to host the headquarters of such a secretariat.
The cabinet then discussed the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and reiterated the Kingdom's denunciation of the escalation of Israel's aggression, including using helicopters to attack unarmed people, prohibiting medicines and medical assistance from reaching the Palestinian people, and suspending money transfers to the Palestinian Authority. The Kingdom appeals to the international community to cooperate to put pressure on Israel to comply with the relevant international resolutions so that peace and stability prevail in the region.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet approved penalties suggested by the Ministry of Interior against violators of the regulations concerning vehicle seat belt fastening. Instances of drivers and front-seat passengers with unfastened or damaged seat belts, and unfastened children's car-seats, will merit a fine of SR 100 [U.S. $ 26.67]. The new regulation, which is in effect immediately, is not applicable on cars manufactured before 1985.
The cabinet also made slight changes in the schedule of public schools for the academic years 1421/1422 H [2000-2001] and 1422/1423 H [2001-2002], as follows:
1. The post-Ramadan Eid holiday starts at the end of government working hours on Wednesday, December 13, 2000; classes resume on Saturday, January 6, 2001.
2. Examinations for the first semester start on Saturday, January 13, 2001 and end by the end of the working hours of Wednesday, January 24, 2001.
3. Classes resume on Monday, January 29, 2001; the rest of the schedule remains as it was.
4. As for 1422/1423, the post-Ramadan Eid recess starts at the end of working hours on Sunday December 9, 2001 and classes resume on Saturday, January 5, 2002, with end of semester on Wednesday, January 16, 2002 and classes for the second semester resuming on Monday, January 21, 2002; the rest of the schedule continues as it was.