Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the weekly session of the Council of Ministers, and briefed the cabinet on the situation in Iraq, notably the collapse of security and stability, the chaos of plundering and looting, and the shortages of water, food and medicine. Crown Prince Abdullah warned that if the state of insecurity continues, it will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe resulting in the death of many innocent people, the destruction of their property and the loss of historic landmarks. He stressed the necessity for implementing security and stability in Iraq as soon as possible and enabling its people to choose the way they see appropriate for administering their own affairs. Emanating from its sense of duty towards the brotherly people of Iraq, he said, the Kingdom has ready an integrated program of humanitarian aid to alleviate their suffering that will be implemented once coordination with the concerned international organizations is finalized.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of regulations for a standard license for economic and technical liaison offices; amendment of the Uncultivated Land Distribution Act to allow a committee of representatives from the ministries of Agriculture, Justice and Interior to settle all disputes; authorization for the Minister of Justice or his deputy to hold talks on a draft cooperation agreement with the Malaysian Federation; and enforcement of the resolution taken by the 23rd Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Doha, Qatar, concerning the establishment of a GCC customs union effective January 1, 2003. The cabinet also approved the nominated government representatives to the Board of Directors of the Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) for four years, namely Prince Saud bin Thinayan Al Saud as Chairman, Mohammed bin Hamad bin Madhi as Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, and as members, Dr. Jubarah bin Eid Al-Suraysiri, Salih bin Eid Al-Husseini, and Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al-Hakami.