Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, which was briefed on recent consultations he and Crown Prince Abdullah had had on regional and international issues with leaders and officials of various countries, including talks with visiting First Vice President of the Sudan, Ali Othman Taha.
On the Middle East, the Cabinet expressed the hope that the meeting held by the International Quartet Committee in Taba, Egypt, last Thursday will lead to reviving the peace process in accordance with the ‘roadmap’ and the Arab peace initiative, and providing the Palestinians with international protection from Israel’s aggressive policies. The Cabinet stressed the need for constitutional cooperation between the Quartet and the Arab peace initiative aimed at integrating all efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the region.
Turning to domestic issues, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including:
• authorization for the Minister of Foreign Affairs or his deputy to discuss with the Kingdom of Bahrain adding a new article to their diplomatic agreements for the formation of a joint commission to enhance consulate cooperation between the two countries, the meetings to be held in both countries on a rotating basis;
• authorization for the Minister of Transport or his deputy to discuss a draft agreement on land transportation with the Islamic Republic of Iran;
• authorization for the head of Civil Aviation or his deputy to sign a draft agreement on air transportation services with the Republic of Niger;
• approval of a memorandum of understanding in the field of sports between the General Presidency of Youth Welfare and the State Commission for Physical Education and Sports of the Federal Republic of Russia; and
• approval, as recommended by the Supreme Economic Council’s Standing Committee, for a reduction from 20 to 15 percent in the financial charges levied by the government on the revenues of the Saudi Telecom Company from commercial enterprises, effective January 1, 2005, with, for the first and second years of establishment of a new company, the charges being 5 and 10 percent respectively.
The Cabinet also clarified Article (28) of the Civil Pension System for 1972, confirming that no pension is payable to anyone while continuing with a full-time position in civil or military service after reaching the regular retirement age.