Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which was briefed by Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz on his recent visit to the Russian Federation and his talks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials concerning current international events, notably the Palestinian issue and the situation in Iraq, as well as bilateral relations. King Fahd expressed appreciation of the Crown Prince's efforts in achieving positive results and boosting relations between the two countries based on firm grounds of fruitful cooperation.
The cabinet went on to deplore the policies of Israel, which is not abiding by any of its commitments under the 'roadmap', and its continued construction of the so-called 'security wall' that aims at devouring more of the Palestinians' land. The cabinet called for international forces to be dispatched to adjudicate between the two sides, and expressed the hope that wisdom will prevail in the current deliberations over the new Palestinian government, with the goal being the interest of the Palestinians and preservation of the unity of Palestine.
The cabinet, welcoming United Nations Security Council resolution number 1500 issued on August 14, 2003 concerning Iraq's Transitional Governing Council, expressed the hope that this will quickly lead to the establishment of a legitimate government that will maintain Iraq's independence and sovereignty and boost its national unity by making all Iraqi groups equal.
Turning to domestic affairs, and after reviewing preparations for the new academic year of 1424-25 H (2003-04) that is scheduled to begin next week, King Fahd wished all students, male and female, a successful year of studies. The cabinet then passed a number of resolutions, including endorsement of the agreement passed at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit on preservation of wildlife and natural resources; authorization for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to discuss a draft memorandum of understanding on political consultation with the foreign ministry of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria; authorization for the Foreign Minister or his deputy to discuss with the Republic of Turkmenistan a general agreement on cooperation in economic, commercial, investment, educational, scientific, technical, cultural, information, tourist, youth and sports fields; and authorization for the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance, or his deputy, to discuss a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Republic of Azerbaijan. The cabinet also amended Article (15) of the commercial and economic agreement with the Syrian Arab Republic, and approved the agreement on educational cooperation with the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria.