Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and, emphasizing the importance of working for the repatriation of the displaced people of Kosovo, he called for an immediate pullback of the Serb forces, followed by trials for Serb war criminals. He expressed extreme concern at the tragic situation in the Balkans caused by Serb aggression against the innocent people of Kosovo, and said he felt profound agony and distress at their sufferings caused by the brutal deeds being perpetrated by the Serb forces against thousands of women, children and elders. He went on to call on people everywhere to give assistance to the peaceful citizens of Kosovo who have been forced to leave their homes and suffer displacement, emigration, ethnic cleansing, killings and oppression, as well as a grievous lack of food, medicine, clothing, shelter, and other basic necessities of life.
Information Minister Dr. Fuad Bin Abdulsalam Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd went on to underscore the importance of confronting the Serbs' attack, preventing them from realizing their expansionist goals, and putting an end to the bloodshed and genocide. At the same time, the King praised the positive response of Saudi citizens who are standing by their Kosovar brothers at this time of affliction and catastrophe by rendering financial and material assistance. He urged exertion of greater efforts, and the provision of more relief to residents of, and refugees from, Kosovo.
Turning to the situation in the Middle East, King Fahd once more denounced Israel's recurring aggressive practices towards the southern part of Lebanon and its flagrant attack on the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) that includes confiscation of land, demolition of homes, expulsion of citizens, and the latest closure of offices in the Orient House in Jerusalem. These are attempts to judaize the city and change its Arabic and Islamic characteristics in breach of the relevant international resolutions and humanitarian norms. The cabinet stated that Israel should be forced to stop such practices; that there should be put into effect the United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, western Baka'a and the Golan Heights, to the line set on June 4, 1967; and that the Israeli authorities should be prevented from introducing any changes in the structure and demography of Palestinian towns, including Al-Quds.
Discussing domestic matters, the cabinet instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Water to devise a contingency plan for planting extra quantities of wheat in an emergency; and assigned a ministerial committee to study water management so as to unify efforts and follow up the matter comprehensively and efficiently. The cabinet also authorized the Head of Civil Aviation to sign the draft agreement on air transportation services between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his delegate to sign the draft agreement for cooperation in the areas of economics, commerce, investment, technology, culture, sports and youth, between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that of the Republic of Poland.
The cabinet then passed a resolution re-appointing Dr. Abdullah Bin Thinayan Al-Thinayan as Chairman of the Board of the Agricultural Bank, for three years effective from the date of validity of this resolution, with Mr. Nasser Bin Hamad Al-Nasser, Mr. Ismail Bin Abdullah Gadhi, and Mr. Abdul Rauf Bin Abdullah Al-Matrood as members. Other previously appointed members will continue to serve on the board.