Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz last night presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and praised the strategies, plans and programs carried out by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) over the past fifteen years, saying: “We are thankful to God for enabling the GCC to enhance relations and cooperation among its members and to confront all challenges.”
Minister of Information Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd made reference to the development of education in the Kingdom, and the great strides made in the educational sector which now has thousands of schools, and tens of colleges and institutes, in addition to seven universities, adding: “Education in the Kingdom is going ahead and performing its mission of building up good citizens and keeping them away from extremism.”
Reviewing developments at regional, Arab, Islamic and international levels, King Fahd reiterated the Kingdom’s adherence to supporting the causes of justice and peace. Noting the deteriorating situation in Tajikistan, he called for settling the on-going conflict there through peaceful means. Referring to the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the increased racial tension in Kosovo, he called on the concerned parties to tackle all problems wisely and rationally, expressing the hope that the international community would take a firm stand against the avaricious and expansionist designs of Serbia.
After review of a number of issues on the agenda, the cabinet adopted the following decisions:
1. that the Ministry of the Interior be deputized to conduct talks with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Uzbekistan to conclude a security cooperation agreement for combatting drugs, terrorism and organized crime.
2. that the Saudi delegation participating in the UN conference on human settlements (Habitat II) due to be held in Istanbul on June 3-14, 1996, observe the following:
2.1 The working report should not be contrary to Islamic Shariah, nor to the values, traditions, systems, and capabilities of the Kingdom.
2.2 No financial obligation shall be incurred by the Kingdom from the report.
2.3 The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs should submit the final report to the cabinet in English and in Arabic for completion of the required procedures.
2.4 The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, or his representative, is deputized to sign the declaration of the Arab Cities Organization concerning Habitat II, taking into consideration the experts’ report number 4 of May 20, 1996, and the Amman Declaration by the governors and mayors of Arab cities, making sure that the word ‘recommendation’ is substituted for the word ‘commitment’ wherever it is mentioned in the latter declaration.
3. that a joint Saudi-Khazakhistani committee be formed to carry out the agreement concluded by the two countries.
4. that the embargo on the import of beef and beef products from the United Kingdom and certain other European countries be continued to safeguard the Kingdom from the threat of “mad-cow” disease.
5. that the standing committee formed earlier this year be made permanent in order to follow up on the issue of food safety, this committee to be headed by the Director-General of the Saudi Standards Organization (SASO).