Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and reiterated that Saudi Arabia seeks equilibrium in supply and demand in oil markets both inside and outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). He confirmed the fundamentals spelled out by Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, in his address at the recently-concluded summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Abu-Dhabi on his behalf, citing the Kingdom's positions and viewpoints on the GCC's progress. King Fahd made reference to the Crown Prince's "frank and realistic" presentation in regard to the impact of the fall in oil prices on the revenues of the GCC member states. He expressed the Kingdom's satisfaction at the outcome and results of the 19th GCC Summit, since current regional and international developments had been tackled in depth, adding that the summit had sought firmly to realize greater association, cooperation, coordination and solidarity among the GCC states and their peoples.
Information Minister Dr. Fuad Ibn Abdulsalaam Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd went on to emphasize that decisions in the GCC are always of interest to the world in view of the strategic importance of the Gulf region in addition to the leverage and moderate approach of its member states in all international forums. King Fahd paid tribute to the fraternal spirit demonstrated by the Gulf leaders at the discussions of the GCC summit, noting that the meeting, as is the custom, was dedicated to the aspirations of all Arab and Islamic nations as well as to those of the peoples of the Gulf region.
The King then briefed the cabinet on the outcome of his talks in Riyadh last week with President Nelson Mandela of the Republic of South Africa, saying that the visit confirmed the determination of the two countries to develop the flourishing relations between them. He also briefed the meeting on the contents of the messages he received from President Ali Abdullah Saleh of the Republic of Yemen, President Abdou Diouf of the Republic of Senegal, and President Elias Eferworki of the State of Eritrea, confirming the Kingdom's concern to enhance relations with each of these countries.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet issued a number of decisions including approval of the recommendations of an ad hoc committee to add the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to the study on replacing expatriates by Saudi nationals in government positions.