Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and reviewed the performance of the labor and social affairs sector. King Fahd affirmed that the Kingdom has paid great attention to this sector, particularly since it launched its comprehensive development plans. King Fahd also said that this sector contributes to improving the standard of living and enabling individuals to play their role in and contribute to social, economic and cultural development. In this connection, King Fahd lauded the prominent role played by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs through its various channels.
The King stated that the financial appropriations for social welfare and development witnessed great strides during the last five years, amounting to about SR 724 million in 1996, representing an increase of 36 percent. The King also commended the social assistance and services extended by some 157 charity associations currently operating in the Kingdom.
Concerning world events, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly denounced the air raids launched by Israel late last week and early this week over Lebanese territories. The Council of Ministers also considered the Israeli attacks against the Lebanese territories as flagrant violations of international treaties and norms and as an attack against the world community which looks forward to security, peace and stability.
The cabinet then issued a number of resolutions, including the following. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is to join the 1991 agreement for combating drug abuse, in its amended 1972 form. The Kingdom is not, however, committed to paragraph 2 of the 48th article of the agreement. The Minister of Finance and National Economy or his delegate is authorized to finalize the draft agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Swiss Federal Council regarding mutual tax exemption on international air transportation activities.