2000 News Story

King Fahd interviewed by Al-Watan newspaper

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, in an interview published today by Al-Watan

newspaper in Abha, emphasized Islam's respect for human rights, pointing out that Shariah clarifies the

framework of these rights.

In the interview, King Fahd commended the idea of convening Arab Summits to enhance cooperation,

exchange views, and activate efforts for just causes. He reiterated the close relations that exist between

the Saudi people and the people of Iraq, who share a common history and destiny, saying: "We feel for

the sufferings of our brothers, the Iraqi people, and urge the Iraqi regime to carry out the UN resolutions

to enable them to again play their role at Arab, Islamic and international levels."
On the Middle East peace process, King Fahd declared that Israel is mistaken in thinking that its policy of

intransigence will deprive the Palestinian people of their right to establish their independent state with

Jerusalem as its capital. As for Lebanon, the Kingdom, he said, is concerned to cement its relations for the

mutual interest of the two countries, pointing out that the Taif Agreement stands as a witness to this.

Saudi-Lebanese relations, like those the Kingdom has with other Arab states, are based on mutual respect,

constructive cooperation, and avoidance of interference in each other's domestic affairs.
The Kingdom's oil policy, he said, takes into consideration that petroleum is a strategic resource for the

entire global economy, not only for the economies of the oil exporting countries. On the issue of Saudi

Arabia's admission to the World Trade Organization (WTP), he described the Kingdom's economic policy as one of free enterprise that is based on the principles of Islam, saying: "We have already taken the required measures for realization of a solid economy that is based on diversification of sources of income and increased national income."
Turning to the role of the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura), King Fahd commented on its highly

qualified membership. Referring to the current Seventh Development Plan, he pointed out that it

emphasizes making job opportunities available for young Saudis, and stresses the importance of

organizing training programs for them. "The Kingdom's increased population", he said, "requires proper

planning", and declared that the Saudi government has been focusing on the educational sector, working

for its improvement and providing it with up-to-date facilities.