1998 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, which praised the common aspects of the countries

of the Arabian Gulf, describing the recently-concluded visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

by Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and

Aviation, and Inspector-General, as within the framework of visits among members of one

family.  Prince Sultan briefed the cabinet on the outcome of his visit to the UAE, saying it

contributed to the mutual benefit of the two sisterly countries as well as the other GCC


Information Minister Dr. Fuad Ibn Abdulsalam Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd, referring to

regional developments, reiterated the Kingdom's stance calling for cessation of hostilities

between Ethiopia and Eritrea, since resort to weapons is not the correct way to solve problems

between countries, which should instead use dialogue and understanding to peacefully solve

the problems.  King Fahd then praised Pakistan's unilateral decision to halt nuclear tests and

appealed to India to follow suit to enable peaceful negotiations to realize security and stability

in the region.
The cabinet then reviewed a report by the oil minister on the current global oil situation and

the outcome of his recent visits to a number of oil-producing countries, emphasizing the

importance of restoring stability to the international oil market to secure a stable balance of

payments in both oil exporting and oil consuming countries.
Turning to domestic matters, the meeting focused on the importance of optimum usage of

electric power and water in the Kingdom and in particular rationalization of consumption.
Dr. Farsi reported that the cabinet then endorsed Saudi Arabia's participation in the satellite

program for search and rescue, authorizing the head of civil aviation to sign the relevant

documents, and approving the project's annual operational budget.  He added that the Ministry

of Posts, Telegrams and Telephones (PTT) has been assigned to register service applicants and

provide the Jeddah-based Search and Rescue Center with related technical information. 

Regulations for enrolling individual applicants would be set jointly by the Ministry of Interior,

the PTT, and the Civil Aviation Authority.  Prince Sultan, Second Deputy Prime Minister,

Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General has been assigned to investigate

applications by countries that are interested in the service.
The cabinet also discussed the draft agreement to organize land transportation operations,

both passenger and freight, on roads between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Hashemite

Kingdom of Jordan under the auspices of the Saudi-Jordanian Joint Commission, and

authorized the Minister of Communications to sign it.