Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which discussed the latest international developments, notably the intensive consultations following the postponement of the 16th Arab Summit that are aimed at re-convening the Summit as soon as possible and overcoming all obstacles hindering the interests of the Arab world. In particular, the Cabinet was briefed on talks held by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz with President of Egypt Muhammad Hosni Mubarak in Sharm El-Shaikh, where he stopped over on his way to Vienna, Austria; and with King Muhammad VI of Morocco, during the Crown Prince’s current visit to Casablanca. The Cabinet commended the concern expressed by these leaders to find an appropriate climate for re-convening the Summit, in order to unify viewpoints, and strengthen efforts for joint Arab action in confronting challenges.
The Cabinet was also briefed on Crown Prince Abdullah’s State visit to Austria, his talks with President Dr. Thomas Klestil, and the signing of an agreement on cooperation in economic, commercial, industrial and technological fields. The Cabinet praised the deep relations between the two countries; noted that the Crown Prince's visit reflects the Kingdom's ongoing consultations with friendly countries; and praised Austria’s efforts, together with those of the European Union, to advance the Middle East peace process, and their recognition of the Kingdom’s effective role in advancing solutions for peace and its persistent endeavors to achieve security and stability in the region.
Turning to domestic affairs, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including endorsement of the regulations of the consultative panel on scientific marine research; endorsement of the memorandum of understanding in judicial relations that was signed with the Islamic Republic of Iran on July 11, 2003; authorization for the Minister of Higher Education or his deputy to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Higher Education Panel of the Philippines; and approval of an amendment to the commercial and economic agreement with the Republic of Lebanon, validating it for two years, automatically renewable.