Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz yesterday chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which expressed welcome of Iraq's acceptance of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 and the return to Iraq of the UN inspectors. It is to be hoped, the cabinet declared, that this step will put an end to a tense situation, averting war and the use of military force. The cabinet urged the Iraqi government to cooperate fully with the inspection committee, and to adhere to the content of the resolution.
At the start of the session, King Fahd briefed the cabinet on discussions he had had with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, which focused on the current situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian issue in particular. The cabinet called on the United Nations to activate implementation of its resolutions on Palestine and to take the necessary measures to put pressure on Israel to comply with these legitimate international resolutions. This will remove the unfair treatment of the Palestinian people, enable them to establish an independent state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital, and ensure the restoration of Arab territories to their pre-1967 borders, as well as achieving peace and stability in the region. The cabinet denounced the dangerous escalation of Israel's military operations against Palestinians, which do not differentiate between soldiers and civilians, adding that the recent Palestinian offensive targeted only military personnel and did not affect any Israeli civilians.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of amendments to a number of items in the service regulations for officers in the armed forces; endorsement of a project to reorganize the structure of the Commission of Saudi Engineers; endorsement of a Ministry of Health project for the mental well-being of the child; and approval of adding a representative from the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) to the board of directors of the commission for regulating electricity services.