Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Inaugurates Shura Council's 3rd Year of 7th Session, full text of the speech
Then, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud delivered the annual royal speech. Following is the full text of the speech:
Ladies and gentlemen:
It is our pleasure to meet you on this blessed day to review the internal and external policy of the Kingdom, what has been accomplished at the internal level of development plans, programs and projects, and the policies and external positions that have had a significant impact in preserving the Kingdom's interests and national security, and strengthening its bilateral relations with brotherly and friendly countries, and to promote peace, security and stability at the regional and international levels.
God has blessed this country with Islamic law, which we adhere to method and action, and we follow its guidance in the achievement of justice, and the consolidation of the method of moderation, and the dissemination of the values of tolerance. We have been blessed by God until our country has witnessed services with high levels of quality, which God has honored us by providing them in the Two Holy Mosques to serve the pilgrims, Umrah performers and visitors. Your Kingdom will continue its policies to improve the services and raise them to the highest level.
The Saudi citizen is the starting point for sustainable development and to which all projects are directed. The young men and women of this country are the pillars of achievement and hope for the future. Saudi women are a partner with full rights according to our Sharia law and we will continue our efforts to strengthen their participation in the blessed national development.
Social issues are our top priority. The government will continue to support the system of social services and provide targeted support according to the requirements of needy groups, so that they can produce, be economically efficient and get decent livelihoods. We will support civil society institutions to play their important and active role in this regard.
Ladies and gentlemen:
Saudi Arabia is undergoing a development shift at all levels as a result of the plans and programs of Vision 2030 of the Kingdom, with unprecedented government spending. According to the latest periodic performance reports of Vision 2030 programs, they are proceeding in parallel and at satisfactory rates, and some of their achievements have begun to emerge and we are determined to go ahead with a march of reform.
You are aware of the Kingdom's efforts to find more employment opportunities, training and rehabilitation for the young men and women of the nation. We will continue to support plans and programs to reduce unemployment to acceptable levels. We have directed the Council for Economic Affairs and Development to focus on developing human capabilities and preparing the new generation for future jobs. Our country has witnessed the launching of huge and promising sectors such as tourism, renewable energy and mining. All of this will contribute in building a balanced labor market that takes into account the needs of the future and restructures itself with high efficiency that responds to changes.
It is our priority in the next phase to continue our support to the Saudi private sector and to enable it as a partner in the ambitious economic growth journey, in order for your country to become one of the pioneers in investment in future technologies as a new extension of our national and global economy.
We reaffirm our support to the Kingdom's financial policies, including achieving balance between controlling expenditure while raising its efficiency and supporting economic growth.
Our visit to the Kingdom's regions comes from our keenness to meet its residents and view development projects there. We directed the Crown Prince and all relevant ministers to monitor the needs and development priorities in the regions, and to specify the citizens' most vital projects to accelerate their realization and to keep us constantly informed to ensure making all necessary decisions related to these projects, and to have continuous follow-up to improve all services provided to citizens, especially education and healthcare services.
Dear valued Council:
Our brave soldiers are carrying out their national duties to the fullest, offering the finest examples of sacrifice and courage in defending our faith and nation.
Our martyrs will live forever in our memory, and their families in our lasting care and attention. We will continue to develop our military forces, including advancing at an accelerated pace the localization of military industries and the technologies needed.
The Kingdom will continue to confront extremism and terrorism, and will stand firmly against any group that tries to hijack our true religion. We will continue to play a leading and development role in the region, thereby increasing regional and international investment opportunities.
The Kingdom will maintain its efforts to tackle the crises in the region and resolve its issues, with the Palestinian cause as our foremost priority. At the 29th Arab Summit, which we called the Jerusalem Summit, we affirmed that the Palestinian cause is our main concern and will remain so until our brothers, the Palestinian people, gain all their legitimate rights, especially the establishment of their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Over the past two years, the Kingdom's assistance to the Palestinian people has exceeded USD $500 million.
The Kingdom has repeatedly affirmed that standing by the Yemeni people was not an option, but a duty. We are obliged to support the Yemeni people in confronting the aggression of Iranian-backed militias. The Kingdom reaffirms its continued support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the UN's Secretary-General to Yemen to reach a political solution in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism, and the outcomes of Yemen's comprehensive national dialogue. We reaffirm our rejection of the continuous attempts of Houthi militias to impose their will on the Yemeni people, and obstruct the efforts to reach a political solution. The Kingdom will continue to provide support to the people of Yemen, where the Kingdom's assistance over the past two years has reached more than USD $4 billion.
For nearly four decades, the Iranian regime has been interfering in the affairs of other countries, while sponsoring and supporting terrorism in the region. These criminal acts, which violate the most basic international norms and conventions, are added to the Iranian regime's record of causing chaos and devastation in many of the region's countries. It is time for this chaos and devastation to stop. The international community must work to put an end to the Iranian regime's nuclear and ballistic missiles program, and stop its destabilizing activities in the region and its flagrant interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
With regard to the Syrian crisis, the Kingdom calls for an urgent political solution to end the Syrian turmoil, stave off terrorist organizations and foreign meddling in the country, and allow the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland.
As for the Iraqi issue, we applaud the steps taken to support ties and cooperation between our countries, and the continued blessed efforts to boost the prospects of bilateral collaboration in various fields.
In addition, your country is keen on continuing its strategic partnerships with friendly countries based on mutual benefits and respect. It will work with its partners and friends from around the world to help developing and low-income countries, and enable them to grow their economies. In that spirit, the Kingdom has recently exempted a number of the least developing countries from USD $6 billion of unpaid debt. In terms of the oil market, the Kingdom will continue working constructively with other producers within and outside OPEC to maintain market stability, thus protecting all the interests of producers and consumers alike.
Dear esteemed Council:
The Kingdom was established on an Islamic foundation based on righteousness, justice, and care for all its citizens. We value the efforts of the judiciary and the Attorney General in carrying out the duties entrusted to them. We reaffirm that this country will never deviate from the application of God's law without discrimination or non-compliance, and will never allow anyone to stand in the way of justice.
The Kingdom is also proceeding with its plans to fully develop the governance of its institutions and authorities, ensuring the proper enforcement of regulations and principles, and avoiding any excesses or errors.
We thank the Shura Council for its continued efforts and its diligent work in fulfilling its duties and responsibilities. We appreciate its contribution to the Kingdom's positions on various issues through conducting various dialogues and meetings with regional and international parliaments and parliamentary associations and unions. We ask God to bless the efforts of the Council with success.
In conclusion, we are all entrusted with achieving our duties and obliged to fulfill our promises. We are responsible for that towards God. We ask God to bless our work and aid us in realizing His will.
Then, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques left the headquarters of the Shura Council and awarded as warm farewell as the welcome ceremony before.
The inauguration of the Session was attended by Prince Abdullah bin Musaed bin Abdulrahman; Prince Mohammed bin Saad bin Abdulaziz; Prince Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz; Prince Khalid bin Saad bin Abdulaziz; Prince Saud bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz; Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz; Prince Naif bin Saud bin Abdulaziz; Prince Dr. Abdulrahman bin Saud Alkabeer; Prince Dr. Mansour bin Miteb bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State, Member of the Cabinet and Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thinayan; Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz; Prince Faisal bin Saud bin Mohammed; Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Prince Nahar bin Saud bin Abdulaziz; Prince Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman, Governor of Al-Dareya Province; Prince Dr. Saud bin Salman bin Mohammed; Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology; Prince Faisal bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, Consultant at the Royal Court; Prince Mohammed bin Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz; Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Mohammed, Consultant at the Royal Court; Prince Naif bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz; Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz, Consultant at the Royal Court; Prince Bandar bin Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Assistant Chief of the General Intelligence; Prince Faisal bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz; Prince Nawaf bin Naif bin Abdulaziz; Prince Saud bin Salman bin Abdulaziz; Prince Salman bin Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz; Prince Abdullah bin Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Consultant at the Royal Court; Prince Khalid bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf, Minister of the National Guard; ministers; Ulema, senior civil and military officials, and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Kingdom.