Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers today, and expressed hope that the new Hijrah year of 1418 [starting on May 7, 1997] would witness the global peace and stability which are necessary for the consolidation of cooperation and concerted efforts to serve as an environment conducive to noble and productive deeds to the benefit of mankind.
Minister of Information Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd said the Hijrah (migration) of the Prophet from Makkah to Madinah is a bright sign in Islamic history and a source of inspiration to Islamic countries for it marked the start of a state based on monotheism, guaranteeing justice and equality of rights and duties. King Fahd also praised the concerned Hajj authorities for making the Hajj season successful thanks to the blessings of Allah and the progressive growth of services.
Commenting on the expansion of educational institutions, King Fahd highlighted their comprehensive role in contributing to the development of religious, intellectual, and cultural values which satisfies the requirements of Saudi society. In this regard King Fahd confirmed anew that the development of the Saudi citizen would remain the main pillar of the development process and the cornerstone for the Kingdom at present and in the future.
Regarding the current situation in the Middle East King Fahd confirmed that the Israeli policy of continuing to build settlements would generate a series of setbacks and harm the efforts of the international community to establish a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace. He added: "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sides with the Palestinian people for the establishment of their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital." He made it clear that all tracks of the peace process are to be based on the resolutions of the Madrid peace conference, the principle of land for peace, and the UN resolutions.
After reviewing the items on its agenda, the cabinet approved the formation of a new board of Directors for the King Abdul Aziz Research Center under the chairmanship of Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, the Governor of Riyadh.