Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today presided over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and welcomed the call made by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during her two-day visit to the Kingdom, for Israel to halt expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied Arab territories, and in particular Al-Quds [Jerusalem], and her announcement that contacts will be resumed between the Palestinian and Israeli sides in Washington DC in late September in order to seek revival of the peace process currently being blocked by Israel. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia considers essential for comprehensive peace in the region, the application of the two principles, that of adherence to the UN resolutions, and that of land-for-peace underscored in the Madrid Accord.
Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd went on to brief the cabinet on the talks he held in Jeddah last Saturday with Secretary Albright and asserted the importance of observing the agreements signed between the Palestinian and the Israeli parties, indicating that violations of them by Israel undermines peace and security not only in the Arab world, but everywhere on earth. King Fahd reiterated the Kingdom's demand that the Palestinian people have their inalienable rights restored to them, including their right to live in peace and establish their independent state on their national territory, and that Israel remove the siege imposed on the Palestinian economy, and resume talks on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, without detriment to the historical and demographic status of Jerusalem. King Fahd went on to remind the cabinet that the Arab world has, at the negotiating table, offered peace in every concept, dimension and significance, and that Israel has broken its promises, words and agreements, returning to evasiveness and attempts to foil the peace process in spite of strenuous efforts by its co-sponsors the United States and the Republic of Russia to relieve the tension and secure peace.
Referring to Secretary Albright's tour of the region and her efforts towards resumption of the talks between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, King Fahd called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to live up to its agreements. The cabinet then expressed full support of the press communiqué issued last night by the foreign ministers of the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) following their 64th conference which was held in Abha.
Turning to domestic affairs, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including: approval for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his delegate to sign a draft agreement for cooperation in the fields of economics, commerce, investment, technology, culture and sports between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Tajikstan; and approval of the constitution of the international association for communication, its 1992 Geneva agreement, and the 1994 Kyoto amendments, while retaining the right for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take any measures it considers necessary to safeguard its interests.