Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which was briefed by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on his inauguration of development projects in Al-Shuaiba and Al-Leith. Praising Saudi Arabia's great achievements in various fields, thanks to the honest efforts of its citizens, King Fahd stressed the government's continued support, encouragement and facilitation of the efforts of sincere national investors who wish to invest their capital inside the Kingdom, and its commitment to training, employing and opening up opportunities to nationals. He urged the concerned government authorities to provide a wider scope of investment to promote cooperation among nationals, investors and employees, noting that the country's young people have proved their ability with success in all areas of the labor market.
The cabinet was then briefed on developments in the Iraqi crisis and the Palestinian territories. The Kingdom has been utilizing all its leverage at all international arenas to avert war on Iraq, calling for the current debates at the UN Security Council to focus on solving the Iraqi crisis peacefully, avoiding war, and moving away from the concentration on divisions and differences among the council's members that can only lead to war, with detrimental consequences. The cabinet stressed that the Security Council shoulders great responsibility for maintaining international security and peace, together with the independence, sovereignty, protection of interests and upholding of territorial integrity of all UN member states, including Iraq.
On the Palestinian issue, the Kingdom renewed its welcome and interest in the statements of U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the commitment of their two countries to achieve a settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by the year 2005. The Kingdom stresses the necessity for moving swiftly toward implementation of the 'road map' and the principles of the Arab peace initiative; and for taking concrete and effective measures to move the peace process and get out of the impasse. These measures include cessation of Israel's continued aggressive practices against the unarmed Palestinian people, the provision of protection for them, the ending of Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Arab territories and the setting up of an independent Palestinian state.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to discuss a draft memorandum of understanding with the Sultanate of Oman to regulate security cooperation; approval of a number of measures and mechanisms related to investment in certain minerals and precious stones pending the issuance of the Mineral Investment Act; instructions to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources to prepare a report every three years on the status of the prices of raw materials licensed for investment in the Kingdom; authorization for the Minister of Finance and National Economy or his deputy to sign a draft agreement for the establishment of the Saudi-Algerian Investment Company; approval of the final version of the technical cooperation agreement on the capital deposited at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization; and authorization for the establishment of a charity for orphans to raise funds and utilize subsidies offered by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to assist orphans and needy people who face living difficulties after being discharged from orphanages.