Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and described the killing of unarmed Palestinians, together with plundering their property, shelling their facilities with heavy weapons, and causing damage to their farms, that takes place on a daily basis under the eyes of the entire world, as the most flagrant violation of human rights in the current era. He earnestly urged the international community to exert the effort to compel Israel to desist from harassing Palestinians in order to pave the way for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East; adding that these efforts must be transformed into practical steps, and Israel must not be allowed to foil them. The Arab World, he said, if it unifies its ranks, is nevertheless capable of confronting all challenges, in particular that of the continued aggression and siege being imposed on the Palestinian people by Israeli forces.
King Fahd expressed satisfaction at the positive outcome of the tour recently made by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, to Syria, Germany, Sweden, Morocco, France and Egypt, and thanked the heads of state of these countries for their respect for the Kingdom's efforts in the international arena. The cabinet was then briefed on the contents of the talks Crown Prince Abdullah had in Alexandria, Egypt, with Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, during which they reviewed Arab, Islamic and international developments as well as the track of peace in the region, ways of reactivating it in order to realize the projected goals, and the aggravation of the situation in the occupied Arab territories due to the brutal Israeli aggression against the unarmed Palestinian people.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet discussed measures taken by the government to provide job opportunities for Saudi citizens, citing the recent instructions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to transfer more than 80,000 teachers, both male and female, from their current temporary jobs to permanent ones. In the area of maintenance of government offices, the cabinet took a number of measures regarding the saudization process, including a condition to be inserted in tenders offered to cleaning and maintenance companies that they recruit Saudi nationals at a rate of at least 5 percent provided that this rate increases to 50 percent within nine years, effective from today's date. It was also stipulated that certain specified jobs should be restricted to Saudi nationals only.
The cabinet also endorsed a decision issued by the extraordinary summit of the League of Arab States held in Cairo in October 2000 to hold Arab Summit meetings on a regular annual basis.