2004 News Story

Cabinet: Pakistan, mideast, Iraq, water, census

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 talks he and Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz held last week with visiting Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz, which focused on the latest developments in Iraq and Palestine. King Fahd stressed that Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people will only worsen the situation in the region, and again called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to adhere to the United Nations resolutions, respect international law, and abide by the ‘roadmap’. As for Iraq, the Cabinet reviewed the situation there with its constant violence and lack of security claiming the lives of innocent women, children, and the elderly, and reiterated the need to mobilize the efforts of the Iraqi government and people, with support from the United Nations to achieve stability and deal with the many problems, political, economic, and social.

The Cabinet then discussed the national campaign being launched by the Ministry of Water and Electricity and its plans to issue millions of water-conserving devices free of charge to consumers. The Cabinet urged all citizens to cooperate with the campaign and take advantage of these devices to conserve this precious resource that is necessary for all living things, plants and animals as well as humans.

The Cabinet also discussed the preparations being made by the Minister of Economy and Planning for the general census in the Kingdom that begins on Wednesday, September 15, 2004, and urged all citizens and expatriates to fully cooperate in view of the extreme importance of its results for State planning and the provision of public utilities in the interests of the general welfare and people’s standard of living, and to reduce the possibility of gaps between supply and demand.

Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including authorization for the Minister of Interior or his deputy to sign a draft agreement with the Muslim World League (MWL) concerning the location of the organization’s headquarters; approval of the Mineral Investments Act that was passed by the Consultative Council (Majlis Al-Shura) on July 10, 2004; approval of the proposal by the Saudi Arabian Agricultural Bank (SAAB) on restructuring agricultural subsidies for equipment used in agricultural, productive and direct marketing processes, including cold storage facilities and refrigerated transport vehicles for poultry and milk; and directives to the concerned authorities to enforce the regulations governing personnel who, breaching the impartiality and trust of any public job, protest the policies or programs of the State directly or indirectly through any statement or debate in any media, internal or external.