Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and highlighted the positive results of the recent visits to Syria and Lebanon of Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, remarking that they would not only foster bilateral ties, but reinforce Arab solidarity and cooperation particularly in economic, social and cultural spheres. King Fahd went on to praise the great efforts exerted by Prince Abdullah to reflect the Kingdom's position towards her Arab sisters which calls for closing of ranks, maintaining security, safety and stability, and invoking collective responsibility in meeting common external challenges especially at the present time.
Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd then reviewed the performance of the agricultural sector and its important contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Referring to the Agricola Medal which was recently awarded to the Saudi monarch by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and linking this award with the Kingdom's outstanding support of the agricultural sector, King Fahd stated: "I consider this honor as an appreciation for each and every Saudi citizen, because of his constant concern to guarantee food security as well as to realize security in social, economic, cultural and intellectual affairs."
Concerning world events, King Fahd again appealed to the international community to respond to the logic of justice and rightness, and enforce the UN resolutions regarding the Holy City of Al-Quds [Jerusalem], with intensified efforts to find a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East on the basis of the agreements reached by the concerned parties and with the help of the peace sponsors: the United States and Russia. He also called on members of the UN to reaffirm rejection of all the illegal practices of the Israeli authorities in Al-Quds and the other occupied Arab territories.
The cabinet then approved a number of measures, including the need to organize Saudi schools overseas; the resolutions adopted by the fifteenth annual meeting of the GCC interior ministers; authorization for the Minister of the Interior or his delegate to discuss with Senegal a draft security cooperation agreement, and to sign it once amended in the sixth paragraph of the second article; and a bilateral agreement between the Kingdom and Sri Lanka for mutual tax exemption and prevention of duplication of taxation on the activities of the national air carriers of the two countries, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed in Colombo on December 16, 1996, a royal decree having been issued in this respect.