Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which in the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people, welcomed the pilgrims who have been arriving from all over the world to perform Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam. The cabinet was briefed on preparations by various concerned bodies and their arrangements to implement this year’s plan within the framework of the comprehensive projects provided by the government to provide comfort for the pilgrims. King Fahd gave assurances that everything is ready to facilitate the performance of their rituals in a climate of piety and submission to God Almighty in an atmosphere far removed from anything that might disrupt their tranquility, security and safety; and urged all public and private bodies working in the service of the pilgrims to do the best they can. The cabinet anticipated the cooperation of all pilgrims in adhering to and complying with all instructions, regulations and directives issued by the various concerned bodies in the Kingdom, and called on all citizens and residents who have previously performed Hajj to comply with the regulations on domestic pilgrims, taking into consideration the accommodation capacity and in order to ease crowding during the blessed days of Hajj.
King Fahd then spoke of the inauguration by Crown Prince Abdullah yesterday of Saudi Arabco’s mega-project at Haradh for the development of natural gas and petroleum products. The establishment of such a project, he said, has been one of the Kingdom’s major goals in support of the national economy, and will promote the nation’s industrialization. Saudi Arabia’s economy should not be restricted to the export of crude oil, he said, but should attract investment, both national and international, for the industrial sector.
The cabinet again vowed adherence to what was said by Crown Prince Abdullah following the Second Forum of the National Dialogue, including commitment to the course of dialogue, abiding by its regulations and ethics and avoiding chaos that leads to harm instead of the benefit sought; no compromise on any kind of detriment to the Islamic religion under the pretense of freedom of expression; that dialogue should be prudent and balanced, and avoid riding any wave in pursuit of self-recognition; and that the wise Islamic course to be pursued is that of moderation, following the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including ratification of a general agreement on cooperation in commerce, technology, culture,youth and sports with the Republic of Tajikistan which was signed in the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, on May 21, 2003; and approval of the appropriation of SR 7 million (U.S. $ 1.87 million) for the construction of the headquarters in the city of Riyadh of the Organization of Red Crescent and Arab Red Cross Societies.