1996 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, chairing the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday, discussed the on-going efforts towards restarting the Middle East Peace negotiations and briefed the cabinet on his recent meetings with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and with King Hussein Bin Talal of Jordan.  Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that the talks had dealt with means to push the peace process forward and to re-start the peace negotiations on both the Syrian and the Lebanese tracks, as well as to coordinate effort on all issues, and that the King had added: “The talks also dealt with strengthening brotherly relations between the Kingdom, Egypt and Jordan on all fronts”.   King Fahd described the two meetings as successful and constructive, and aimed at the welfare of the Arab and Islamic worlds and their crucial concerns.  He renewed the Kingdom’s constant position towards peace in the region, and reiterated the necessity for a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle east based on the Madrid Accord.

Reviewing developments at the international level, King Fahd urged his brothers in Somalia to solve their differences wisely for the sake of their national interest and to save their nation from further destruction and bloodshed.

At the domestic level, King Fahd reviewed the overall progress of the Kingdom’s industrial sector as a result of the series of five-year development plans, including the sixth plan currently being implemented, saying:  “Industrialization is the ultimate option for speeding up the realization of developmental objectives aiming at diversifying the productivity sources and broadening the scope of the private sector’s contribution to the development process, in addition to the development of Saudi human resources and the laying down of a solid technological basis.”  The features of the Saudi industrial sector were delineated in the former developmental phases which had witnessed the formation of the structure of the Saudi industry including three sub-sectors of petrochemicals, oil refining, and conventional industry.  As a result, the King said, the Kingdom has been transformed from an importer of all its needs to a manufacturer of many of these products, a great deal of them now also exported.  There are currently 2438 factories with a capital investment of SR 161.7 billion (U.S. $ 43.1 billion) and employing some 218,056 workers.   The eight main industrial cities, which cover an area exceeding 32 million square meters in total, have made increasing contributions in industrial growth.