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 began by expressing his thanks for the good wishes extended by leaders and officials of Gulf Cooperation Council, Arab, Islamic and other friendly countries, and by private citizens both inside the Kingdom and overseas, on the occasion of the successful eye surgery recently undergone by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz.
The cabinet was then briefed on the deliberations of the fifth consultative summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that concluded in Riyadh last Wednesday; on talks held by King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah with visiting Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi; and on foreign reports denouncing the sinful criminal bombings that took place in Riyadh, attesting to the fact that these incidents are against the values and tolerance of Islam. The cabinet praised the denunciation of terrorism from all over the world, and also the citizens' solidarity and renunciation of this phenomenon that is alien to Muslim society, a stance that reflects the unity of the country and the cohesion of the people, who are cooperating to detect anyone who tries to destabilize the security and stability of the State. The cabinet went on to extend the Kingdom's condolences to Algeria's President Abdulaziz Bouteflika and his government, and to the families of the victims of the earthquake in that country.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the President of King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology (KACST) or his deputy to negotiate memoranda of understanding on scientific cooperation with its counterparts in Japan and in the Russian Federation; authorization for the President of Youth Welfare or his deputy to commence consultations on cooperation in sports with the Russian Federation; endorsement of the agreement on cooperation on maritime transportation with the Kingdom of Morocco that was signed in Rabat in November 2001; and approval of a draft agreement with Libya on cooperation in the areas of economics, commerce, investment, technology, culture, sports and youth that was signed in Jeddah in September 2002, with the Minister of Commerce and Industry assigned to lead the Saudi side in the Saudi-Libyan Joint Committee.