Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, chairing the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers on the occasion of the new Hijrah year of 1422 which begins today, wished all Muslim and Arab peoples as well as Saudi citizens security, stability and prosperity, called on them to work hand in hand on the path towards solidarity, and expressed the hope that the new lunar year would be one of good fortune for all.
Referring to the Arab Summit to be held in Amman, Jordan tomorrow, the cabinet expressed the hope that it will result in joint Arab action and support for Arab causes, particularly that of Palestine, and, noting the hostile and brutal practices of the Israeli authorities, reiterated the Kingdom's support for the Palestinian people, struggling for a just cause, until they obtain their legitimate rights, including the establishment of their own state with Al-Quds as its capital.
The cabinet then praised the signing in Doha last Wednesday of the final maps demarcating the land and sea borders between Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar.
Turning to domestic matters, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including:
1. a decision to form a national commission for the care of inmates of prisons and reformatories, and for those newly released from such jails, together with their families. The commission, to be headquartered in Riyadh, will be chaired by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, with as members representatives of the ministries of Interior, Justice, Islamic Affairs, Information, Health, Education, and Civil Service, plus representatives from the General Presidency of Youth Welfare, investigation and public prosecution bodies, and the Al-Birr Charitable Association. The commission will issue relevant regulations governing its work, and set up sub-committees in the provinces.
2. authorization for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Republic of Tunisia for the formation of a mutual consultative committee.
3. approval of an agreement issued by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva in June 1999 prohibiting the most severe manifestations of child labor.
4. approval of a waiver for one year, renewable, of customs charges on imported goods originating in Palestine, provided they comply with Saudi standards.
5. renewal of the commercial and economic agreement with the Government of Lebanon, effective April 20, 2001.