2004 News Story

Cabinet meeting: mideast, Iraq, Sudan, terrorism, new currency exchange company

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 talks he and Crown Prince Abdullah had had with visiting King Abdullah II of Jordan, which focused particularly on developments in Palestine and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan are in agreement on urging further endeavor and continued support for all efforts to achieve security and peace in these two countries, since this will lead to peace and stability not only in the region but worldwide.

The Cabinet wished Iraq's new presidency and government every success in achieving security, stability, growth and prosperity in Iraq and restoring that country to effective status as an active member of the Arab world; and expressed the hope that the expected draft resolution of the UN Security Council will activate the pivotal role of the United Nations at this crucial stage of handing over full authority and sovereignty to the new Iraqi government.

As for Palestine, King Fahd noted that the tragic situation necessitates a firm international stance to put an end to Israel's aggressive and oppressive practices and its blatant challenge to the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Cabinet urged activation of the role of the Quartet Committee and the need to establish institutional cooperation between the Committee and that of the Arab Peace Initiative in order to unify efforts and facilitate consultations on the achievement of peace in the Middle East.

The Cabinet welcomed the signing of protocols between the Sudanese government and Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), considering it an important step towards achieving peace in the Sudan, for which the Cabinet wished security, stability and prosperity.

King Fahd then gave assurances that Saudi Arabia will continue to hunt down the remnants of the deviant terrorist group through the efforts of the brave security officers and with the cooperation of the citizens. This group, he said, by killing innocent people, violating the sanctity of life, destroying property, and wreaking havoc on the earth, seeks in the perpetration of its criminal acts to destabilize the Kingdom's security; and calling for greater efforts from citizens in unmasking the group's objectives, intentions and plans, he warned against not reporting them, and pointed out that this aggressive group and its destructive practices will only serve the interests of the nation's enemies.

Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for both the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Justice or their deputies to sign the draft Arab Agreement on Fighting Corruption; ratification of the Kingdom’s accession to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 1973), the 1978 protocols, and the appendices; and approval of the liquidation of all currency exchange companies, which will be incorporated into a single banking stock company with a capital of three billion Saudi Riyals, fifty percent of the new company's stocks to be floated for public underwriting within thirty days from the date of publication of the royal decree licensing its establishment.