1st Term 4th Year, 1417 - 1418 A.H.
The Speech of the King of Saudi Arabia 1417-1418
It is my pleasure to meet you again renew our hopes and goals to serve our nation, boost its good course, and continue developing it under our Islamic belief and manners.
Meeting today, we should express our gratefulness for the safety, stability and well being that our country has enjoyed since King Abdul Aziz united it and established it firmly upon the guidance and approach of Islam. Our nation thus became a real model and actual example in turning effective all aspects of The Islamic Creed and achieving justice.
This is the wisest approach which the leadership of the country went along with. The principle of Shura was applied in accordance with established Islamic creed.
Basic governing law, The Law of the Council of Ministers, The Shura Council law, law of provinces were all accordingly issued. They altogether aim to boost the course of the country, and maintain its economical and social development in a way that brings more welfare, stability and security for the people and successive generation.
Our country enjoys its full strength. Among its points of strengths is our expansion of the Two Holy Mosques and equipping them with every available means and facilities which provide pilgrims and performers of rites of Umra with comfort to fulfill their duties.
You are aware of the hard events that hit the region in the past years, which exhausted our economy and development. We remained strong though. Our economy is much stronger than what others think. In the industrial field, I assure you that it is developing continually. In the past, we used to import many of our needs. Yet today we have thousands of factories. These factories now produce thousands of kinds of necessary and luxurious items. Businessmen were able to establish factories because of the assistance of the state and with the help of the appropriate atmosphere like protection, promotion and great financial support they were provided. The Saudi Industrial Development Fund paid 31 billion Saudi Riyals for facilities and easy loans for industrial projects. In the educational field, I would like to point out the extraordinary development in education that our country witnesses. We have now 23752 schools for males and females in all elementary, intermediary and secondary levels. Students enrolled in these schools were 4.088.637 students.
As for universities, we now have 7 universities that include 68 colleges that accommodate 155.188 male and female students. Not to mention the 61 colleges for female with 100.000 students. Moreover, there are 65 specialized colleges in technology, health and educational fields.
Also, in this field I would like to mention the efforts of the state in opening technical centers and institutes to train students, and encourage them to register. A while ago we only had small centers and small numbers of students registered. Now we have 70 training centers and one technical institute in each field of industry, agriculture, and trade that include thousands of trainees.
In the field of healthcare, the state has built specialized hospitals as well as all types of clinics and health centers all around cities and villages of the Kingdom. In this occasion, I assure that the state would intensify all kinds of health care for its citizens. In agriculture, the kingdom produces currently many of its need of grain, vegetables and fruits. Development of all kinds of agriculture would remain one of our concerns to fulfill our policy in achieving food security to our country.
In the field of water, you all know that Saudi Arabia is a leading country in the field of desalination. It is the biggest country to do this job despite the high costs and expenses of the process. On this occasion, I would like to stress the duty of all of us to save and protect this great wealth by not wasting it or using it excessively.
In construction, the state spent 108 billion riyals from the Real Estate Development Fund to build accommodation units in different cities and villages of the kingdom. Not to mention distributing lands to citizens to build houses which led to constructional rise that is considered remarkable in terms of the period of time it is done. The Real Estate Development Fund and other funds are still undertaking their tasks in this field to face the continuous expansion and growth that we feel we should face.
I am not counting or calculating here what the state did to fix the pillars of economical and social development and achieving decent life for the citizens of this country as it would take time. I just wanted to tell everybody in this valuable country that the state is working so insistently to attain happiness and welfare to individuals and their families. This is shown in the budget of the state every year. The budget for this year, as I mentioned on issuance of the budget of this year 1417/1418 A.H. contains approbations for new developmental projects including building new mosques, schools and health facilities, as well as water projects, bridges, roads, basic installations, more allowances for new conditions of social insurance, besides the already running projects that we spend money for.
What distinguishes foreign relations of our country is maintaining brotherly ties with Arabic and Islamic countries. Your country is totally interested in Arabic and Islamic issues, and in defending them, as well in consulting with our brothers for the interest of all of these issues, and especially the issue of the Palestinian people and Holy Jerusalem, and in supporting the peace process in the Middle East in a way that guarantees rights to be back to their legitimate owners. Moreover, our relations with our friends all around the world are characterized with clarity, consistence, mutual respect and joint interests, working together to achieve justice, and boosting foundations of security and stability for the goodness of humanity.
On this occasion, I would like to thank H.E. the Speaker of Majlis Ash Shura of the Council, his deputy and all of its members for their kind efforts. I wish the duties of the Majlis and its sessions are full of good contributions. I wish you all success to fulfill good aims of this Council that aim to achieve the interest of the country.
End of Speech