Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers, which, briefed on the latest international developments, took note of media reports on the increase in the number of Israeli assassinations and arrests of Palestinians, coinciding with the fever of Israel's elections. King Fahd commented that this serious escalation and Israel's return to a policy of assassination and destruction aim at undermining all Arab and international efforts exerted to calm down the situation. They also demonstrate Israel's defiance of the relevant United Nations resolutions and all efforts exerted to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region. The cabinet renewed its appeal to the United Nations to implement the relevant resolutions on the Palestinian issue and put pressure on Israel to respect these resolutions and put an end to injustice against the unarmed Palestinian people, who daily suffer killing, torture, intimidation, and arrest, as well as the demolition of houses, the destruction of infrastructure, and unprecedented, brutal treatment that contradicts the simplest norms of human rights.
Turning to domestic affairs, King Fahd issued directives to the provincial governors as well as all ministers to pay greater attention to the affairs of the citizens and residents, and to redouble their efforts to improve the services rendered for their benefit. The cabinet then passed a number of resolutions, including:
• endorsement of the Unified Customs Act of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and its appendices, with the comment that work should proceed according to other articles relating to the customs committees that were mentioned in the Unified Customs Act and its executive regulations, and assigning those committees to fulfill the functions stated in Articles (162) and (163) of the Unified Customs Act until they are later re-formulated in accordance with the relevant articles of the law;
• approval of a general agreement on cooperation with the Czech Republic;
• ratification of the draft agreement with the Republic of South Korea on mutual encouragement of and protection for investment that was signed in Seoul, Korea, on April 4, 2002;
• authorization for the Minister of Finance and National Economy or his deputy to sign a draft agreement for customs cooperation with the Republic of Yemen to prevent trafficking and customs breaches and to promote exchange of administrative border information;
• ratification of the Private Medical Establishments Law;
• directives for the concerned Saudi authority to take the necessary measures, with regard to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to carry out a decision taken by the GCC's 22nd Summit that all member states conduct a public census in 2010 and subsequently standardize the periodical terms for such public censuses;
• authorization for the Chairman of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) or his deputy to sign a memorandum of understanding for scientific and technological cooperation with Malaysia.