Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which upgraded the central administration for survey in the Ministry of Defense and Aviation to an independent body, and created an official translation department affiliated to the office of the cabinet. These moves are in line with the recent process of administrative structural reforms undertaken by the Kingdom. The new survey administration will be named the General Survey Authority (GSA), affiliated to the Ministry of Defense and Aviation and reporting directly to the Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz. The new translation department will be a specialized council incorporating a number of part-time university professors who are experts in the field. Existing government-run academic bodies for translation and interpretation at universities, institutes and scientific establishments will remain untouched; moreover, the resolution called for enhancing the status of all organizations and departments undertaking the task of translation in the Kingdom.
At the outset of the meeting, King Fahd briefed the cabinet on the outcome of the talks he held in Jeddah this week with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and confirmed that the Palestinian cause continues to have the complete support of the Saudi government and people, who spare no effort to provide whatever help they can to heal the wounds resulting from Israel's aggression. King Fahd also expressed support for the outcome of the meeting recently held in Cairo of the Arab follow-up committee, notably its call for the Arab countries to continue to back the Palestinian leadership and people in confronting Israel's policies, attacks and threats, and to provide them with material and political support. The Kingdom will always stand by the right of the Palestinian people to regain their usurped territories and properties and establish an independent state on their national territory with Al-Quds as its capital in accordance with the United Nations resolutions. The cabinet expressed satisfaction at the call by the foreign ministers of the G-8 group to send international monitors to the Middle East to pave the way for enforcing the Mitchell Plan.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet noted the considerable optimism among the Saudi people in response to the establishment of a new ministry for water, and approved amendments to the 1974 international treaty for the safety of people on the high seas that had been endorsed by the General Assembly of the International Maritime Organization.