Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz yesterday presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and stressed that the culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an integral part of Islamic civilization in terms of religion, ethics, and ideology, and of Arabic civilization in terms of language, literature, and history.
Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd spoke about the reality of cultural life in the Kingdom, pointing out that there are a number of constructive elements and important signs concerning response to inner feelings in what has been accomplished in moral as well as material achievements. The King reaffirmed that Islamic culture, which forms the foundation on which the culture of Saudi society has been built, will continue to remain the real standard for all phases of development.
Calling on all Saudi writers, authors, and thinkers to contribute to informing the world about what has already been achieved in the fields of industry, economy, communications, and infrastructure, and especially in the Kingdom's cultural development that calls for adherence to Islamic values, King Fahd stated: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will continue to give priority to the cultural aspect of its planning for comprehensive development because our culture is a bright activity aimed at preserving its Islamic and Arab identities and highlighted to remain always at the center of attention."
Reviewing state policy for promoting culture through encouragement of studies and research into Islamic heritage, King Fahd referred to support of those engaged in these works, such as backing initiatives for making encyclopedias and revitalizing the book trade in terms of production and circulation both within the Kingdom and overseas. King Fahd also praised the efforts being exerted by the youth authorities, notably the distinguished achievement realized by the national soccer team which has won the Asian cup for 1996, reinforcing its earlier championships.
The cabinet then reviewed the latest regional, Arab and international developments, and welcomed the election of Kofi Annan as Secretary-General of the United Nations, wishing him every success in his new position.