1998 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly

meeting of the Council of Ministers, and stated that the recent nuclear tests conducted by India

and by Pakistan would not benefit security and stability in South Asia, nor lead to a solution

for existing problems in the region.  King Fahd went on to say that Saudi Arabia calls on both

countries to exercise self-restraint, and commented on the dual standard exercised by the

world community in exempting Israel from international inspection of its nuclear facilities, a

fact which has encouraged a nuclear arms race.  The Kingdom accordingly urges a

comprehensive ban on proliferation of nuclear weapons, and demands that the Middle East be

a nuclear-free zone.  While expressing understanding of the Pakistani viewpoint regarding

preservation of its national security, Saudi Arabia nevertheless calls on both parties, India and

Pakistan, to exercise self control in order to pave the way for the welfare and prosperity of

their peoples.

Information Minister Dr. Fuad Ibn Abdulsalam Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd then turned to

the key role being played by the Kingdom in promoting Arab unity in confronting challenges

such as the current Israeli occupation of the territories of the Palestinian state in addition to

the Golan Heights and the southern part of Lebanon.  The King attributed the current visit to

Syria and Jordan by Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and

Commander of the National Guard, to the Kingdom's concern to enhance joint Arab action.
The cabinet was then briefed on the outcome of the visit of Foreign Minister Prince Saud

Al-Faisal to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in particular the signing of a cooperation

agreement between the two countries.  The cabinet expressed satisfaction at the continuing

positive development that characterizes relations between the Kingdom and Iran in all fields.