Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which, reviewing the latest developments in the Middle East, attributed the recent stalling of negotiations to Israel's obstinacy in implementing its agreements. The cabinet reiterated the Kingdom's support for the Palestinian people in acquiring all their legitimate rights, including that of establishing an independent state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital, as well as the return of all refugees to their rightful homes. The cabinet expressed the hope that current efforts would lead to overcoming the obstacles that are impeding the negotiations between the two sides, and hopefully pave the way for reaching the final status agreements to realize a fair and comprehensive peace in the region in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and the principle of land for peace.
The cabinet went on to denounce the border breaches and air violations that were committed by Israel while withdrawing from southern Lebanon. The cabinet declared that such practices are injurious to the Lebanese people and an obstacle to any guarantee of stabilizing the situation along the border between the two countries. In this respect, the cabinet praised the tour made by Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. The cabinet then reiterated the Kingdom's stance that the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon should be observed, and that Israel should not make the issue of the security of its northern border a pretext to launch sporadic attacks against Lebanon and its people. The Kingdom also confirmed the role assigned to the UN emergency forces in accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 and 426.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, included authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to open discussions on a draft agreement for security cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Guinea; and approval for the Kingdom, represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, to join the regional league for developing agricultural human resources. The cabinet also approved lists of goods identified by customs tariffs experts in accordance with the amended 1996 system, which are annexed to the agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Morocco, and to the commercial and economical agreement between the Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Lebanon.