4th Term 1st Year, 1426 - 1427 A.H.

The Statement of King Fahed bin Abdul Aziz AlSaud In the inauguration of the works of first year of forth sessions of the Council Rabea Alawal 1426 A.H. 2005

Dear members of The Shura Council,

Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you,

We commence our fourth session of the first year of The Shura Council with our hope of success and duty fulfillment.

Consultation is a principle and a method for cooperation to fulfill the task, and for undertaking responsibilities. It reflects an image of mutual work between members and associations of society. Consultation represents a fixed genuine rule on which Saudi Arabia was established, and which was practiced eighty years ago. The more it is practiced and applied, the better development is promised.

In order to confirm the positive role of the National The Shura Council, and its assistance to the government in regulatory matters, the third article of the council’s law was modified on the second session to increase members of the council from 60 members to 90 members, then to 120 members in the third session, and finally to 150 members in this session. This imparted a practical sense on the council that enabled it to gradual enhancement of work in quantity and quality.

Islam is a religion of mercy and peace: it leads to goodness, and forbids evil. It calls nations to peacefully coexist. It prohibits offense, aggression and perversion. There is no room for violence, extremism or radicalism, repression or terrorism, or infringement on people and properties. We would not allow a perverted category of people led be perverted thought to harm the security of this country or shake its stability.

Saudi Arabia has never spared an effort in combating terrorism. It fights terrorism within its borders, and it is committed to completely support relevant resolutions of the UN to fight it.

Therefore, Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign for national solidarity against terrorism whose activities lasted for fifteen days beginning from 25/12/1425 A.H. This campaign began with international conference to combat terrorism, in which the Kingdom hosted representatives of 60 countries, and international and regional organizations to consider and develop means and methods to fight this universal criminal phenomenon. His royal Highness crown prince, president of cabinet and commander of National Guard Prince Abdulla ben Abdul Aziz submitted a proposal to establish an international center to fight terrorism. This proposal was approved and supported by conferees. The conference concluded with some suggestions to adopt a unified effective comprehensive strategy, and to intensify international efforts that concentrate on the need of the leading role of United Nations, to compromise international and regional disagreements peacefully so that terrorist organizations no longer find an opportunity to make use of the suffering of people, to stress the rejection of any attempt to associate terrorism with religion, to prepare an atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation between various countries, to sustain and support multi-cultural dialogue, to fortify international, regional, bilateral cooperation between countries to desiccate sources of funding terrorism, as well as activities of organized crime groups and illegitimate trading in weapons and explosives, and drug trade.

Now, we are pleased with procedures taken in execution of the resolution of the cabinet to activate municipal councils in accordance with the law of villages and municipalities. National economy is growing. Success achieved in the field of development and economical construction in the kingdom is the result of a deep economical insight, of an ability of a long term strategic planning, and of flexibility in conforming to economical changes worldwide. Development plans in the kingdom include many indicators that embody the insight that the kingdom used to deal with issues of development and economical construction. Saudi economy could achieve acclimatization and adaptation with requirements of economical development and circumstances of international economy throughout a series of decisions and important economical procedures that formed a main turning point in economical and social policy, and provided directions to strengthen growth and prosperity.

Developmental plans in the kingdom succeeded in establishing facilities and projects that are able to lead processes of development, modernizations and transference of advanced technology, and to provide fitting levels of education, training and various social and health services. Documents of ministry of economy and planning are a witness. It is worth mentioning that the social dimension of developmental plans was never missing. On the contrary it was always present via multiple programs of services of social custody in all fields. This custody included in specific disabled people, where they were offered many types of health, social and habilitating care. Necessary finance was allocated, and a special law for this category that covers its requirements, needs and executing mechanisms for that was enacted.

The state sought to exploit wealth to make accelerate development that included all aspects of life. Size of investments industrially increased to more than two hundreds and sixty billion Saudi riyals. The number of factories increased to more than three thousand and seven hundred factories that provide more than three hundred and fifty four thousand vacancies in various activities. SABEC Corporation has achieved advanced positions internationally where it occupied the first global rank in some industries. The sector of transportation and communication has witnessed many accomplishments. The sum of road lengths exceeded 73 thousand km. communication services were highly widened.

Achieving goals of developmental plans is done within the framework of comprehensive concept of development of human resources, continuous upgrading to these resources, achieving appropriation between population growth and human resources, adopting good planning to develop and manage human resources and upgrading its productive capacity, going on in adopting programs that replace expatriate labor force with national ones, increasing the average of women participation in work force according to cabinet decision NO 120 issued on 12/4/1425 A.H. that determines widening of women working fields and increasing their job opportunities in accordance with the specific points in the decision.

The Kingdom established a system from foundations of high education, public education, and technical education and vocational training. Reframing foundations of education and training, specifying their concepts in a way that fulfils the needs of development from various skills of national labor force, and confirming mutual relationships between productive work and fields of human development is being done.

In this regard, rapid economical growth in the Kingdom during years of development plan was accompanied with availability of many job vacancies, despite some defects that work market witnessed at the same time, such as the increase of foreign labor force versus proportionate increase in the unemployment of national labor force. The aims of the eighth developmental plan moved towards preparing circumstances to find out jobs and vacancies to citizens via continuous economical growth rates and new investments on one side, and ensuring primary education and developing abilities and skills of national labor force, and rationalization of importing of labor force on the other.

To stress that, the Cabinet resolution was issued at the beginning of Moharram 1426 A.H. that set a mechanism to face the problem of unemployment between citizens, and the increase of rates of importing labor force. It stated to charge all concerned bodies, Saudi universities, and media means to assist ministry of labor in procedures they take to decrease rates of issuing visas, to train Saudis, to activate the role in private sector, to insist on all sectors, governmental bodies and public corporations to directly and completely coordinate with ministry of labor and ministry of civil services concerning procedures of replacement with national labor force, and all that the two ministries see regarding importing of labor force.

The budget of current year has included financial allocations for development in various productive and service sectors. This shows the durability of Saudi economy, and wide horizons that its sectors have to highly grow next years. The budget coincides with the beginning of eighth developmental plan to make a big move in services and facilities that Saudi citizens enjoy. This budget included 75.5 billion riyals for new projects and programs in various regions in the kingdom, taking into consideration balanced distribution between needs of these regions, and supporting programs of human resources and projects of education, training, health, social services, water, agriculture, municipal services, transportation and communication. The budget included great increases in capitals of loaning and financing funds that the state established to offer easy loans and facilities for citizens.

Orders have been made to benefit from the remarkable increase in returns in the fiscal year 1424/1425 A.H. the way it is useful to all citizens in all regions in the kingdom in general and the neediest regions in specific. This would be achieved via allocating an amount of forty one thousand million riyals from the surplus of returns of that year to execute additional projects for services, from which a sum of thirty thousand million riyals was allocated to execute an additional specific program to improve and develop services, including projects for water networks, sewage and flood drainage. An urgent program was scheduled to execute highways and construct new roads inside and outside villages and cities, to execute a program to develop basic health care in all regions, to also execute a rapid program to complete building schools for male and female students, to support technical education and increase its capacity and develop it in accordance with the need of work market, also to increase the capital of real estate development fund to reach ( nine thousands million riyals to fulfill the demand o loans and decrease waiting time, also to increase the capital of Saudi loaning bank to reach ( three thousand million riyals to be able to increase number of loans it grants to needy and professionals in accordance with its law.

The eighth developmental plan followed the guidance of adopted priorities of development, and strength points in national economy to achieve utmost possible increase in the economical growth rate, which exceeds expected growth in population rate, and enables the increase in employment of national labor force. The plan targeted also to vary productive activities, and sources of national income to find other sources besides oil returns to finance governmental expenditure and revenues, improve the competence of the mechanism of the market, increase the role of private sector in production and investment, and develop its abilities to compete.

The eighth development plan adopts an integrated set of regular policies to procure requirements of fulfilling its targets. Subjects such as economical stability, and competence and adequacy of bank credits are among matters that receive primary interest. The plan was interested specifically too in fields related to preparing appropriate grounds to continue developing economical frame, and update programs, accelerating processes of privatization and developing managerial system.

Policies of the plan are also interested in providing appropriate circumstances to increase investments of private sector whether national or foreign, to continue governmental investment in sectors of development, to carry on developing foundational frame of foreign trade, to improve the competence of performance of governmental foundations and relevant private foundations, and to work on bolstering competitive abilities of national products and increasing its exports. Not to mention keeping on widening in bilateral trade agreements with countries worldwide with purpose of finding new markets for the national exports.

The accomplishments thus spoken of are those we have fulfilled on a national basis. Regarding foreign relations however, our policy is based on working towards what achieves interests of the kingdom, supporting its positive presence in international circles, and highlighting its constructive role whether regionally, or in Arabic, Islamic, international worlds.

The current events in Palestine and Iraq: the killing of innocent women, kids and old people require a necessary international attitude to be taken to put an end to bloodshed and restore security, stability and peace to the region. We are fully hopeful that Iraqi people would work on building new, unified, stable and secure Iraq.

Concerning the Palestinian issue, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid it a big interest that represents a genuine direction in our policy in accordance with fixed principles set by late King abdul Aziz. All of us have succeeded him. We continually support our Palestinian brothers in their endeavor to establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. We profoundly support them against all practices that hinder reaching just, comprehensive and lasting peace.

We also call Lebanese people to override the difficulty, to maintain the unity, stability and solidarity of Lebanon, to recourse to dialogue between various political forces, and avoid all causes of disunity and division.

Concerning Arabic relationships, the kingdom concentrates on the issue of activating mutual Arabic work. The royal decree NO 1/m was issued on 11/2/1426 A.H which approved of a document of promise, agreement and solidarity between presidents of Arabic countries that the Arab League issued in the sixteenth session of the summit. The document contains principles that set targets which the Arabic countries aim to achieve in the future in order to strengthen Arabic cooperation and integration. It includes mechanisms to activate the charter of the Arab League, and develop its bodies. The document confirms strengthening relationships between Arabic countries; it supports consultation, coordination and cooperation between member countries, especially in the fields of security, defense and foreign affairs. It stresses too that member countries should fulfill the commitments that emerge from the charter of the Arab League.

Saudi Arabia is careful about the stability of international oil market. It works to what achieves balance between interests of producers and consumers at the same time. It seeks to develop international trade via dealing according to principle of economics of free market.

The kingdom has clear relationships with all callers for peace, these relationships are based on mutual respect, on productive participation in issues and concerns of humanity, on interest in issues and problems of development, on continuous initiation to relieve and rescue at times of catastrophes and earthquakes taking place everywhere, and on supporting and helping victims of floods, homeless and refugees by offering aid to the needy and the injured.

Te Kingdom has sought to develop cooperation with GCC countries and advance its relationships in various fields such as economy, culture, social and political fields. We would proceed with steps and continue efforts till we reach the purpose that people of counties of the council seek .

In the end, we express our appreciation to the former members of The Shura National Council. We wish new members all the success.

Thank you

End of Speech