Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and briefed the cabinet on consultations he and Crown Prince Abdullah had held, notably with President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, concerning developments in the Iraqi situation and in occupied Palestinian territories. King Fahd reviewed the Kingdom's efforts to assist the Iraqi people and alleviate their suffering in the difficult circumstances resulting from the war, and reiterated its stance on preservation of Iraq's security, unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity; the right of the Iraqi people to self-determination and a political future according to their own free and independent will; acceleration of the process of formulating an interim government in preparation for the establishment of a broad-based constitutional regime; and enhancement of the role of the United Nations.
The cabinet then discussed the tense situation in the Middle East, whose destabilization is affecting the entire region; stressed the need to end the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people; and expressed the hope for a speedy implementation of the 'road map'.
Reference was also made to the Crown Prince's proposal for the reform of the Arab stance, and his statement during a meeting with Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Amr Moussa affirming that the Arab League should reflect Arab situations, and be able to perform its role in realizing joint Arab action in the interest of all Arab countries.
Turning to domestic affairs, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to discuss a draft security agreement with the Republic of Poland; authorization for the Chairman of King Abdulaziz City for Sciences and Technology or his deputy to discuss a draft agreement on scientific and technological cooperation with the Republic of South Africa; approval of a general agreement on economic, commercial, investment, technical, cultural, sports and youth cooperation with the Government of the Democratic Federal Republic of Ethiopia; and approval of a proposal submitted by the Minister of Finance and National Economy to extend the validity of an agreement with the Republic of France to avoid dual taxation on income and inheritance for five more years, effective from January 1, 2004.