Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, chairing the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday, reviewed the accomplishments of the communications sector. In this context he reported that by the end of the fifth five-year plan (1990-94), the total length of asphalt roads, including highways, had jumped to nearly 26,500 miles, with an additional 60,000 miles of unpaved roadways.
Information Minister Dr. Fuad Al-Farsi reported on King Fahd’s comments concerning the
role of the Ministry of Transportation and Communication in pushing forward the wheel of social and economic development, and how this is attributable to its increased budget, which has also enabled the Ministry to employ, train and upgrade the level of performance of the Saudi manpower involved. King Fahd recalled that in 1953, when the Ministry of Communications was established, there were only about 150 miles of asphalt roads, and recollected the 1977 project when four roads were built linking the Sarawat escarpment, nearly 5,000 feet above sea level, with the coastal Tihama plain [in the west], using state-of-the-art engineering methods which made them models second to none in the technology of road, bridge, and tunnel construction. King Fahd praised the wisdom and farsightedness of the late King Abdul Aziz in recognizing the importance of the role of transport and communications in the development of the Kingdom when he ordered the construction of roads linking Jeddah with Makkah and Madinah for the service of pilgrims, and the construction of a railway linking Riyadh with the Eastern Province. His sons, King Saud, King Faisal, King Khalid and King Fahd, have all followed this policy.
King Fahd then expressed his appreciation of the outcome of the 60th session of the Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which ended in Riyadh on Sunday.
Dr. Al-Farsi reported that the cabinet, reviewing issues on its agenda, passed a number of resolutions, including one approving the agreement, ratified by the GCC Supreme Council in its 16th session in Muscat in December 1995, concerning implementation of judgments and judicial notices in all GCC member states; and another authorizing the Minister of Finance and National Economy or his representative to sign the Saudi-Italian agreement on reciprocal promotion and protection of investment.