Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and declared that Saudi Arabia is following with deep interest the latest contacts between the Palestinians and the Israelis with a view to commencing the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Palestinian cities and territories. The cabinet expressed the hope that the international community would put pressure on Israel to follow through on these contacts and carry out the implementation of the agreements in all the Palestinian territories it has occupied, halting the violence, and giving a chance to the creation of a suitable climate for proceeding with the peace process and following a path leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital.
The cabinet then discussed the fierce and biased campaign that certain western media are carrying out against the Kingdom with the aim of portraying an image of Saudi Arabia that is the opposite of the moderate and balanced approach it has been following in its international relations and policies. Crown Prince Abdullah told the cabinet that it is known what the objectives are and who is behind the campaign, adding that they would never be able to harm the Kingdom or affect its positive contribution to realizing peace, security and prosperity in the world, nor its interest in strengthening and enhancing international efforts to combat terrorism within the framework of the United Nations.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including:
• Authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to sign two protocols supplementary to the United Nations agreement on combating organized crime across national borders, one concerning the smuggling of illegal immigrants by land, sea or air, and the other concerning prevention and punishment of persons dealing in the trade in persons, particularly women and children;
• Endorsement of the Kingdom's accession to two international agreements for exchange of publications and government documents, as agreed at UNESCO's Tenth General Assembly held in Paris on December 3, 1958; and assignment of the King Fahd National Library and the National Center for Documents and Archives to be in charge of implementing them;
• Endorsement of the Kingdom's accession to the Tunis-based Arab Organization for the Family;
• Authorization for the Director-General of the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization (SASO) to sign a draft technical cooperation agreement with the Algerian Institute for Standardization and Industrial Property;
• Approval of the necessary procedures, as proposed by a multi-governmental committee including the Ministry of Justice, for the publication of one or more periodicals a year covering the final rulings issued by various judicial authorities, including courts, the board of grievances, and the various committees for labor issues and commercial disputes.