Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and briefed the cabinet on recent consultations on the latest international developments with leaders and officials of a number of brotherly and friendly countries, including visiting President of Syria Dr. Bashar Al-Assad. King Fahd stressed the Kingdom's continued support of efforts to achieve peace in the region and in tension spots throughout the world, to enable people everywhere to enjoy well-being and stability. King Fahd then reiterated his appreciation of the national good feelings spelled out by tribesmen and shaikhs to Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, noting that these good feelings are common among the nation's citizens.
Turning to the attention being paid by the government to higher education through the Higher Education Council, King Fahd spoke of the Council's concern to provide young Saudis with opportunities to be accepted at universities to continue their studies, and confirmed that three universities had been approved to open in Madinah, Qassim and Taif next academic year. These universities, he said, will focus on science and technology in order to meet the Kingdom's developmental needs and its labor market, noting in this regard the Crown Prince's inauguration of the College of Technology in Taif and the inauguration of similar colleges in Al-Qunfuzah, Hafr Al-Baten and Al-Dawadmi.
The cabinet then expressed its satisfaction over the positive and encouraging results of the meeting held between the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the High Commission on a number of matters regarding the Kingdom's accession to the World Trade Organization.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to sign a draft agreement with the United Sates on developing commercial and investment relations; approval of the draft cooperation agreement with the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria in the area of Islamic affairs and endowments that was signed on January 1, 2003; and directives for two members from each of King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology and the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology to be added to the Board of Directors of the Saudi Commission for Industrial Cities.