Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers, which expressed the Kingdom's deep sorrow for the bloody events that recently took place in Moscow, extending full sympathy to the families of the victims of this criminal act and offering condolences to President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. Saudi Arabia stresses once again its firm stance that rejects and condemns all terrorist acts whatever their source or purpose.
Crown Prince Abdullah then briefed the cabinet on messages received by him and by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz from a number Arab, Islamic and other friendly countries, concerning regional developments, particularly the Palestinian issue and Israel's continued aggression. The Crown Prince reaffirmed that the Kingdom supports all efforts to put the peace process back on the right track, and supports implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions governing the end of Israeli occupation; cessation of the suffering and injustice of the Palestinian people and their leadership; the setting up of a Palestinian state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital; and the achievement of peace and stability in the region. He again called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to comply with the will for peace.
The cabinet went on to praise the recommendations of the seminar 'Future Vision of the Saudi Economy' held this month in Riyadh, stressing that strategic planning for the future development of the Kingdom is for the most part derived from the experiences of planning practices, achievements and challenges over the seven five-year development plans that have been in effect since 1970, noting that the emergence of new perceptions and economic interactions in the world necessitates revision and assessment of planning for integration, particularly given the growing role of the private sector.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) or his deputy to discuss a draft memorandum of scientific and technical cooperation with the Arab Organization for Industrial Development and Mining; and approval of the Kingdom's donation of polio vaccines to support projects aimed at eradicating infantile paralysis and coordinating other preventive services in neighboring countries, in accordance with the recommendations of the 53rd conference of Health Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that was held in Geneva on May 15, 2002 on the fringes of the meetings of the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO).