Neom (UNA-OIC) – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated virtually on Wednesday the works of the 1st year of the eight-session of the Shura Council, in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense.
Then, Shura Council Speaker Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh and the Council members took the oath, following the issuance of the royal order appointing them to the council in its eighth session.
After that, King Salman delivered the annual royal speech, in which he expressed appreciation of the council for all the work and efforts being made.
“Since late King Abdulaziz unified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it has adopted the principle of consultation (Shura), which has contributed to strengthening its comprehensive development path to achieve the security and prosperity it aspires to,” he said.
“We are proud that Allah has honored us with serving the Two Holy Mosques, and providing all means of comfort for pilgrims and Umrah performers,” the Saudi king added.
“We were keen to organize Hajj in light of this exceptional circumstance due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, as it pushed us to take more preventive and precautionary measures, and Hajj was limited to a number of citizens and expatriates to ensure the safety of pilgrims.”
“Your country’s efforts in the early response to reduce the effects of the pandemic have paid off, contributing to the low spread of infection and the decrease in the number of critical cases,” King Salman told the council members.
“I reiterate my thanks to my brothers and sons, citizens and expatriates of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for their understanding and cooperation in following the instructions and implementing procedures. I also thank all government agencies, the committees formed for their efforts to combat this pandemic.”
He went on to say “I thank my sons, the brave soldiers in the southern border, I pray for them to remain steadfast, and I supplicate to Allah Almighty to bestow mercy on the souls of our martyrs.”
In order to mitigate the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, Saudi Arabia has rushed to present government initiatives to the private sector, especially small and medium enterprises, that included more than SAR218 billion, in addition to supporting the health sector with SAR47 billion.
“Through managing the pandemic, we have sought to continue business and balance the economic, health and social impact, and we will continue constant evaluation until the end of the pandemic,” the king said in his speech.
He pointed out that in affirmation of Saudi Arabia’s leadership, and in the context of the coronavirus, and with a view to a global confrontation that mitigates the effects of the pandemic, the Kingdom, which presides over the current session of the G20, called for a virtual extraordinary summit, which took place in March. “We look forward to the G20 Summit that will be held this month to promote development and stimulate cooperation globally, to create a prosperous future for people.”
In addition, Saudi Arabia has been keen, since the establishment of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to stabilize global oil markets. The clearest example of this is the pivotal role it played in establishing and maintaining the OPEC plus agreement, as a result of the Kingdom’s initiatives aimed at accelerating market stability and the sustainability of its supplies.
The Kingdom has also worked and is still working, to ensure the stability of oil supplies to the world in a way that serves producers and consumers alike, despite the economic conditions that the world is facing today due to the pandemic and its repercussions on global oil markets.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is a roadmap for a better future for everyone who lives in this ambitious country. During the establishment phase, the vision contributed to achieving a set of accomplishments on several levels, most notably improving government services, raising the percentage of ownership in the housing sector, and developing the entertainment, sports and tourism sectors.
Moreover, attracting many foreign investments, in addition to empowering women and activating their role in society and the labor market. We are currently preparing for a phase of advancement that is characterized by empowering the citizen, involving the private sector more and increasing the effectiveness of implementation.
“We are pleased that the Kingdom today has become the most advanced and reforming country out of 190 countries, according to the World Bank. The Kingdom has ranked first in the Gulf and second in the Arab world, in the World Bank’s report “Women, Business and the Law 2020,” King Salman said in his speech to the Shura Council.
He also stressed in his speech that the Kingdom is aware of the seriousness of some countries’ regional projects that threaten the region, through their interference in the internal affairs of states, and their support for terrorism, extremism, and fueling sectarianism. He called on the international community to take a firm stand that guarantees security and peace in the region.
“We condemn the terrorist Houthi militia’s violation of international laws and customary rules through launching bomb-laden UAVs and ballistic missiles towards civilians in the Kingdom. We stress supporting the Yemeni people so that Yemen can regain its full sovereignty and independence,” King Salman said.
“The Kingdom affirms its continued support for the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative. We also support efforts aimed at establishing peace in the Middle East by negotiation between the Palestinian and Israeli parties to reach a just and lasting agreement,” he asserted.
“We stand with Iraq and its people and support the efforts of its government for stability, growth, and preservation of its position in its Arab environment, and strengthening of relations between the two brotherly countries and cooperation in various fields through the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council,” King Salman.
“We support a peaceful solution in Syria in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva 1 process, stressing that militias and mercenaries must leave Syria, and preserve the unity of the Syrian soil,” he said.
“We follow with interest the developments of the situation in Libya, reiterating the Kingdom’s welcome to the signing of the permanent agreement on a ceasefire by joint Libyan military committees under the auspices of the United Nations. We are looking forward to the agreement to pave the way for the success of the understandings on the political and economic tracks, in a way that contributes to inaugurating a new era that achieves security, peace, sovereignty and stability for Libya and its brotherly people. We call for an end to external interference in Libyan affairs.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as president of the Friends of Sudan Group, stresses the importance of supporting Sudan in the meantime and affirms full political support for the Juba peace talks.
“May Allah Almighty perpetuate His grace upon us, preserve our country from any harm, grant us success to continue serving our people, and to enhance the pioneering roles of our country and its contributions to achieving security, peace and development regionally and internationally,” the Saudi king concluded.