Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and expressed the Kingdom's condemnation of Israel's aggression yesterday against the Syrian Arab Republic, describing it as a grave and provocative action that violates all principles of law and international norms as well as Syrian sovereignty. The cabinet stressed that such Israeli aggression further endangers the situation in the Middle East and obstructs endeavors exerted to achieve the peace that is needed.
King Fahd then briefed the cabinet on the consultations he and Crown Prince Abdullah had recently held, with President of Egypt Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, Sudan's First Vice President Ali Othman Taha, and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of the Federal Republic of Germany. These discussions dealt with the latest developments in the region, notably the Palestinian issue and the necessity for international action to put an end to Israel's repeated aggression against the Palestinians; and the search for solutions to the Palestinian issue and the salvaging of the peace process without delay and in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Arab peace initiative, and the plan of the 'Roadmap'.
The cabinet reasserted the significance of revitalizing the role of the United Nations in these days of dangerous challenges impinging on its reasons for existence and the principles stated in its Charter, which is not being upheld or given its due respect by certain member countries. Although the situation is critical, the United Nations can still take the opportunity of strengthening the principles of its Charter and the pillars of international legitimacy on the basis of justice, equality, renunciation of the use of force in solving disputes, preservation of human dignity and the aim of achieving security and prosperity worldwide.
King Fahd stressed that the Kingdom is making every effort for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, and noted that Israel's continued refusal to accede to the nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty, and the fact that Israel's nuclear programs are outside international monitoring, pose a dangerous threat to the security and stability of the region. He called for setting controls that allow for no double standards, in order to achieve the desired progress in all fields of eliminating weapons of mass destruction, and urged that all countries that have not yet joined the treaty begin taking the required steps to do so, and put their nuclear facilities under international monitoring.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval for the Shada Mountain area in Baha Province to be designated a natural protectorate area as recommended by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development; authorization for the Foreign Minister or his deputy to negotiated a memorandum of understanding on political consultations with the People's Republic of China; authorization for the Minister of Justice or his deputy to negotiate a draft agreement on judicial cooperation with the Syrian Arab Republic; approval of regulations on commercial mortgage; and amendment of the regulations governing Saudi students attending foreign schools in the Kingdom.