Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers and briefed the cabinet on recent contacts with a number of Arab and other friendly countries, noting the need to develop relations in order to bolster mutual benefits and support issues vital to the Arab World, chief among them that of the just Palestinian cause. The Palestinians, he said, continue to be subjected to brutal, arrogant and unprecedented attacks from an enemy practiced in killing, torturing, and siege, that procrastinates, and attempts to circumvent relevant international resolutions, evading the will of the international community, which is to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region. Israel's continued aggression against the Palestinian people, he said, and its disregard for the peace process and the agreements it has signed, will lead to greater instability in the region and immerse it further in a whirlpool of violence. The cabinet called on all peace-loving countries to exert sincere efforts to put an end to Israel's practices and procrastination, pointing out that Israel shows its real face by challenging international will and daily committing new massacres against unarmed people in their own land. All nations that are in consultation with Saudi Arabia share identical viewpoints on the need to put an end to Israeli injustice, protect the Palestinian people, and exert efforts at the international level to achieve these goals.
Turning to domestic affairs, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the head of civil aviation to sign a draft agreement with the State of Qatar on air transportation services between the two countries; permission for the board of investigation and public prosecution to request its employees to work over the weekend if necessary; endorsement of the common defense agreement of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that was signed in Manama, Bahrain on December 31, 2000; and approval for the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to join the World Family Organization. The cabinet also approved the cancellation of the condition of national ownership referred to in the GCC's unified economic agreement concerning origin of industrial products, amending it to read as follows: "The condition of awarding industrial products the designation of nation of origin should be that the added value arising from their production in these countries is not less than 40 percent of their final value at the completion of their production.''