Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz received in Riyadh today the ministers of tourism and heads of delegations participating in the third Islamic conference of ministers of tourism. Requesting that his greetings be conveyed to the kings, presidents and leaders of the Islamic countries represented, he prayed for the progress and prosperity of all Arab and Muslim nations. Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz also received the conference's participants, to whom he declared: "We wish the Arab and Muslim peoples well. We wish economic unity since economy is the mainstay of life."
The conference, which concluded today, endorsed the choice of Makkah Al-Mukarramah as cultural capital of the Muslim world for the year 2005; welcomed the approval of Arabic as one of the official languages of the World Tourism Organization; and welcomed the memorandum of understanding between the World Tourism Organization and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The conference expressed concern at developments in the Middle East and their destructive effects on the economic infrastructure of the Palestinian people, including the tourism sector; urged member states to provide material and technical support to Palestine; and denounced Israel's attempts to judaize the City of Al-Quds [East Jerusalem], stressing the need to preserve its Arab and Islamic identity, being the future capital of an independent Palestinian state.