1997 News Story

Council of Ministers Meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and paid tribute to the commercial sector, describing it as playing a crucial role in the development of the national economy and pointing out that among the recent responsibilities of the Ministry of Commerce is to take the necessary steps for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Higher Education Minister and Acting Information Minister Dr. Khalid Ibn Muhammad Al-Angary reported that King Fahd went on to refer to the issuance of executive regulations to facilitate the importation of goods, control the strategic stockpile and ensure quality standards.   Concerning the replacement of expatriates with Saudi nationals, King Fahd praised the efforts exerted by the private sector in this respect.

Highlighting the Kingdom's role in the area of spreading the Islamic faith, the cabinet commended the opening last Friday, under the patronage of Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman Ibn Abdul Aziz, of the King Fahd Mosque in Gibraltar, and praised the holding of the first cultural forum for the Muslim community there.  The cabinet also paid tribute to today's laying of the foundation stone of the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center in Malaga, Spain by Prince Abdul Aziz Ibn Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.  These two events will be added to King Fahd's noble record of service to the Islamic cause worldwide.

King Fahd then reviewed the relationship of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with its sister Arab states in the economic, cultural, industrial and commercial fields, and referred to the visit to the Kingdom this week of Yemen's Interior Minister Brigadier Hussein Muhammad Arab, affirming the ties of neighborliness, religion, and destiny that bind the two countries.  Moving to other developments, and in view of the siege imposed by Israel on the Palestinian territories, its intransigence and continued rejection of compliance with its commitments, King Fahd reiterated his call to the co-sponsors of the peace process to exert pressure on Israel, so that the peace process can be revived in order to reach a comprehensive and just peace in the region.

The cabinet then reviewed a number of administrative matters, and passed a number of resolutions, including approval of enlisting university graduates in the military service provided they pass the qualifying course, and agreement that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia join the international treaty for the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination that was approved by the United Nations General Assembly on December 21, 1965, although without being committed to Article 22 of this agreement, the Saudi view being that presentation of any dispute before the international court of justice should only be effected after approval of the parties concerned.