Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers. The cabinet, which is following the war on Iraq with regret and concern, fears its consequences and its destructive effects on that country, and denounces the daily suffering of innocent victims. The cabinet took note of the statement issued last week by the Council of Senior Ulema [religious scholars] expressing appreciation of the Kingdom's citizens who have supported their leadership in its great efforts, from the beginning, to spare Iraq and its people this war. The Kingdom will not rest, declared the cabinet, until it finds an honorable way to contain this event, and every believer who expresses his concern about this war is called upon to seek the support of the Muslim world, and of all peace-loving countries committed to the principles of justice, in initiating an immediate effort to halt this war.
Crown Prince Abdullah reiterated the Kingdom's continued appeal for the immediate halt of military actions against Iraq and a resort to peaceful offices to solve the problem within the legitimate framework of the United Nations in order to stem the bloodshed of innocent Iraqi people and preserve Iraq's national security and civil institutions from the war's destructive consequences.
On the Palestinian issue, the cabinet noted the increasing suffering of the unarmed Palestinian people as a result of Israel's daily aggressive actions notably the ongoing assassinations and killings, and the destruction of the Palestinian infrastructure, that indicate Israel's exploitation of the world's preoccupation with the crisis of the war on Iraq. Preoccupation with the innocent Iraqi victims, the cabinet pointed out, should not distract attention from the suffering of the Palestinian people as a result of the brutal attacks of the Zionist occupation forces, and from the need to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions, including an announcement of the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital.
Turning to domestic issues, the cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval for the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to compensate the former electricity authority for lands on which it had established a number of projects before handing them over to the SEC; and authorization for the Minister of Finance and National Economy or his deputy to sign a draft agreement with the Republic of the Philippines on mutual encouragement and protection of investment.