3rd Term 1st Year, 1422 - 1423 A.H.
The Statement of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahad Bin Abdul Aziz AlSaud at the Inauguration of the First Year of Third Session of the Council 12 Rabea Alawal, 1422 A.H
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,
Praise be to Allah, Who granted us abundant graces. Prayers and blessings of Allah be upon His prophet Mohammad, and upon his family and companions.
Dear brothers, peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.
In the name of Allah, we announce the new formation of The Shura Council in beginning of its third session. With the blessing of Allah, the Almighty we open the works of it in this fortunate day.
It is my pleasure to see The Shura Council continuing its course successfully, moving forward to future plans and studies.
I feel comfortable whenever I see the world around us understands the concern of our country to apply the approach of consultation, in non imitated or invented manner, which confirms that Islamic Shri'ah is valid for every time and place. The approach of consultation occupied an increasing and prestigious position among contemporary studies. The experience of your Council contributed in establishing the rules of consultative practice and introducing this unique Islamic practice to the world.
We want to express our pleasure to see the concern of The Shura Council fulfilling its tasks so responsibly, bearing in mind Islamic Sharia'h in performing its deeds, and committing to the requirements of the interest of the nation when considering issues submitted to it. This makes more trusted and more at ease in terms of objectivism. It makes us more pleased with its achievements. Its full chronicle has now many achievements that contributed in backing the country going forward onto the right path towards better future within the course of its comprehensive development.
It is my pleasure today to meet you as we are used to do every year. As you know, inauguration of the third session of The Shura Council means that these practices in their current form are now eight years old. By favor of Allah these years confirmed the validity and effectively of this approach, which our true religion demanded to follow for the purpose of developing the life of society and advancing it. By the will of Allah this guarantees the wishes of everybody to achieve justice and welfare. It is not in vain that the founder of this lofty foundation his Majesty King Abdul Aziz- chose Islamic consultation a method to contribute in administrating affairs of the country and people, when intellectual doctrines and man-made systems suggest various forms for humanity to regulate relationships between classes of society.
He only chose the Islamic legislation. This reflected his certain belief, his pride of serving sacred mosques and his conceit of his custody on the land where revelation to Prophet Mohammad took place, giving forth the message of Mohammad, and introducing the civilization of Islam that respects man who is assigned to build and maintain earth. Arising from this fact, King Abdul Aziz, , went ahead in ruling. His target since he began his historical project in uniting the country and achieving his civilized ambition is to guarantee security and stability to his people, which are the only way to achieve development, and brilliant future to next generations.
Out of that did his luminous attitudes to support efforts done to achieve peace worldwide. Our country remained- thanks be to Allah- loyal to the approach of king Abdul Aziz in internal ruling and in external relationships. It is an approach that is derived from the teachings of true religion, and the conviction he struggled to establish. Allah bestowed success upon his successor sons who were honest and loyal to his message and word, applying the Sharia'h of Allah in all they say and act.
In 1346 A.H. our his Majesty King Abdul Aziz set the first ground to this Council. We later felt that there is a need for its rules, bylaws, and procedures to be reconsidered in accordance with the current needs of our country, and in harmony with the requirements and necessities of this age. Thus in 1412 A.H. we issued the new regulation of the Council so that it could continue practicing its tasks, and undertake its responsibilities. This practice could fulfill ambitions and confirmed the efficacy of Islamic choice which helped to act regulations that the country needs and submitted suggestions that can help in fulfilling goals. The end results of the works of the Council were in the benefit of the country and people. We have right to be proud of all that is achieved. This increases our commitment to our consultative practices, and pushes us to offer more support for its course. It is easy to notice our interest in the activities of the Council and the support we offer its resolutions and suggestions, whether our personal support or that of institutions of the state. All of us are one team that aims to achieve highness and esteem to this country, away from the private interests that our people remained away from.
In the context of supporting the course of the Council, it is worth mentioning the increase of the number of its members whether in this session where the number reached one hundred and twenty members or in previous session, where the number of members increased from sixty members to ninety members. This stresses the success of this practice and the desire to widen the ground of participation.
It is by God's help that we chose in the three session of the Council elite people from this country, whom are known of being piteous, experienced, straight and honest. I remember here what I said to your brothers in the beginning of the first session eight years ago. I told them that I “chose” but at the same time I was “perplexed” because I always found myself before long lists of eligible candidates to work in the Council from our country. What I am saying today along with what I said before is an announcement of how much qualified and believing men available in our country. Through their contributions in various fields of development, they stress their continuous readiness to exert more and more sacrifices.
In this occasion, I can’t but thank every one of ex-members who contributed in the works of the Council in its two previous sessions. They were as hardworking, persistent, and loyal as we expected them to be. They fulfilled the trust, and realized their duties.
I congratulate your country with you along with its remaining sons who contribute with their minds and thoughts to push the course of development forward.
You might be aware how much I am interested in domestic affairs, since it touches the life of everybody living in this country, and contributes in achieving a brilliant future for next generations. When meeting liable persons in the government, I save no chance to notify various relevant bodies of the significance of fulfilling their duties towards people, facilitating their matters, working hard to achieve them ease and meeting their demands. One thing that our true religion recommended is achieving justice among people. It is the duty of the state to realize welfare to its citizens, paving the way before them to reach their noble goals.
In this regard we are so concerned about a very important matter that belongs to our citizens and that the subject of providing more opportunities for graduates who finish their study going to the fields of work. We would be working on providing them opportunities of work as much as opportunities of education. While I am praising what has been achieved by private sector in this regard, I ask this sector to do more. It is a national duty that should be met in a way that achieves goodness to our country and citizens. In various occasions, I stressed the necessity of continuous revision of resolutions of Saudization of jobs in both private and public sectors, and setting a strategy for importing labor force, which take into consideration the developments of local market and the issue of increasing number of Saudis going to this market. We willingly hope that all these efforts attain desired purposes.
We are aware that contributing in building up the country, maintaining, preserving and taking care of has been achieved for it is initially the duty and responsibility of citizens. We know that market of work needs scientific qualifications, and vocational training. They are two integral elements. That’s why, for instance, sectors of education and training had an abundant share of the budget of this year. This was done for universities, colleges, and institutes of technical and vocational training to be able to comprehend more students, not to mention what is already required from private sector in the field of training youths according to its substantial needs.
What makes me relieved while talking about education in our country is to remember so proudly the development that this sector attained. The best proof for that are the ten thousands of schools for males and females. Moreover we have now more than five millions male and female students in a number in colleges and eight universities. They are being taught by thousands of eligible persons for education.
This entails me to remind of the seventh developmental plan approved by Shura Council, and issued by the cabinet months ago. One of the issues that this plan focused on was provision of educational services, and training Saudi cadres that are considered one pillar of boosting productive capabilities of national qualified persons who would be able to deal with technical developments in various fields, especially that the very plan focused on the diversification of sources of national income, and widening the productive base in various fields of economy.
The state adopted the approach of privatization in some sectors. The most important goals of this approach is increasing the vitality of private sector on one hand, and pushing it to continuously take initiatives that could meet the needs of society on the other hand. Privatization works on widening the participation of citizens in earning assets, encouraging national and foreign capitals to invest locally, raising the adequacy of national economy and increasing its competitive capabilities. All this would result in increasing job opportunities for Saudi young people.
It is not strange that we elaborate in talking about the reality of our young people and their future. We always pay special attention to developments, programs and projects that are directly related to the lives of citizens, help in their luxury and contribute in improving their economical and social levels. This is what all developmental plans in your country focused on. For example I would like to mention here some aspects of the last developmental plan. Some of the good omens of that plan is inaugurating and operating 29 hospitals, in a total capacity of 4630 beds, starting the establishment of 71 new hospitals of total capacity of 8300 beds, opening and operating of 250 centers for health care, establishing 17 health colleges 9 of which are for males and 8 for females, opening and operating 60 ambulance centers, establishing 1111 elementary schools, 819 intermediary schools, and 905 secondary schools, opening 10 technical colleges, 17 vocational institutes of various specializations, increasing the capacity of technical education to reach 55 thousands students at the end of the plan and to have 50 thousands students graduate during the years of the plan, comprehending about 17 thousands trainees in vocational training centers at the end of the plan, and having about 46 thousands trainees graduated during the years of the plan. Not to mention the good omens of the plan in fields of roads, communication, municipal and rural affairs and other bodies of services.
Raising productive adequacy and good performance, along with rationalization of expenditure, and pushing economical activities to be more vital, as well as optimal exploitation of the resources of the state, all these could achieve us our optimum goals that we aim to in our developmental plans. You might be aware that the purpose and end result of all of them is the service of citizens and welfare of the country, as previously mentioned.
Our national economy started recovering, despite circumstances that it witnessed in past years. For that reason, efforts of the state along with efforts of private sector should work together. I ought to mention here that we are pleased of huge economical projects made by private sector in the country. It is my pleasure to praise Saudi businessmen who invest in the Kingdom because increasing investment and establishing economical projects in the country could effectively contribute in employment of capitals which would signify a strong support for national economy.
All has been recently done such as issuing of law of foreign investment, establishing general organization for investment, and establishing high organization for tourism and regulations issued for it, all aim to push the wheel of development forward and widen the base of national economy.
As you know, Saudi corporation for electricity was established as Stock Corporation with a capital of more than 33 billions Riyals, which gives the private sector a big impetus to contribute in the course of development through foundations that are able to planning and fulfillment.
You should have heard and read about the approval on preparatory agreements by higher Council of oil and minerals affairs, which were signed with some international oil companies that will undertake executing project of developing gas sector in the Kingdom. The county would certainly anticipate a lot of goodness out of these projects, whether from its direct economical returns or through out its contribution in comprehension of some qualified Saudi labor force.
There are many laws and strategies that were studied by The Shura Council and issued by the cabinet during the past year. They are considered a confirmation to the endeavor of your country to achieve more of what is expected from it towards its citizens and expatriates. Among these expectations are the national constructional strategy, the law of non Saudi real estate possession, social insurance law, law of press and publications, law of disabled custody, establishing the committee of prisoners guardianship, and founding the Council of health guarantee etc.
Concerning the issue of oil, we previously supported Karakas statement issued by the second summit of member presidents and governments in OPEC. We believe in the necessity of cooperation and solidarity between member countries in a way that guarantees their interests and ensures well exploitation of their national wealth. Oil, as known for everybody, is a strategic material that represents a key source for energy. It largely contributed in world economical development in various fields. Thus we should not forget the necessity of boosting relationships that link the organization and other oil producing countries on one hand, and consuming counties on the other hand. That’s in the framework of cooperation, understanding and considering joint interests. The stability and balance of oil market is a mutual responsibility. OPEC organization should not be held the responsibility of harming global economy because of the rising in oil prices. Karakas statement demanded consuming countries to adopt just attitudes towards oil in global markets of energy. It also demanded them to reconsider its policies to reduce the taxation for the benefit of the consumer.
Because the Kingdom believes in the necessity of interconnection between producing and consuming countries, it suggested, while hosting the forum of global energy months ago, to establish a general and constant secretary for the forum of energy. We showed our readiness to host the secretary in our country, which could contribute in opening more dialogue and communication channels between various parties. We are interested in taking every appropriate opportunity to cooperate between producing and consuming countries, in a way that guarantees the stability of the oil market, and brings benefit to global economy driving it towards continuous development.
According to our role in Arabic and Islamic affairs, you are aware to what extent the Kingdom is concerned with uniting Arabic line, bolstering Islamic solidarity and investing all its capabilities in various levels in a way that it achieves our Arabic and Islamic countries goodness, reassuring and stability, provides welfare and supports peace opportunities worldwide.
Arising from that, we support Organization of Islamic Conference. We praise the role of the organization in serving cooperation between Islamic countries and in consolidating joint Islamic work and like always we sustain and support Arab League to help it fulfill its aims.
We always show evident desire in the Arab World to live in real peace. This is the target that we all seek since it is a strategic choice. But the whole world witnesses what Zionists do in Palestine against Arabs, and against their holy mosques and lands. They never desist from using all kinds of force, killing and destruction, especially in recent days. The aggression was shown in real war where Zionists used every kind of fatal weapons, including planes, and missile bombers, while international forces are completely unable to cease their prejudice and arrogance.
However, what Zionists brought the region to is an ill-boding condition whether for short or long term future. We beg the human consciousness worldwide to put an end to these practices against armless Palestinian people. We beseech USA in specific to undertake a crucial role that brings such a condition to an end, where the enemy ignores all agreements, conventions and principles for human rights.
Would United Nations and Security Council respond to help our Palestinian brothers by sending an international force that works on preventing further martyrs and injured persons to fall?
Everybody knows our attitude towards Palestinian issue, and towards peace in the Middle East. We always said that this region would only enjoy security and stability when Palestinians restore all their rights, and be able to establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and when Syrian Golan and all occupied Arab lands are back.
We would always offer all kinds of support that our Palestinian brothers need, as we always did. I would like to remind, by the way, of the honor of taking the initiative represented in the suggestion that my brother His Royal Highness Crown Prince Abdulla Ben Abdul Aziz, deputy of prime Minister and chief of National Guard announced on my behalf at the Arabic Summit convened in Cairo, to establish Jerusalem uprising fund at a capital two millions US Dollars, as well as in the suggestion of establishing AlAqsa fund and to allocate eight millions dollars for it. The Kingdom shall pay quarter of the amount allocated for these two funds. The summit adopted these two Saudi suggestions. This is only a part of financial support that our country offers to our Palestinian brothers, which would willingly contribute in enabling them of economical independency.
What our country offers to cherished Palestine and to Palestinian people is a duty imposed by our true religion. It is part of the support by the Kingdom to all Moslems everywhere. This support is based upon its definite belief of responsibilities imposed by its high position that it occupies in the consciousness of all Moslems. It is accountable before Allah and before this nation to do everything that preserves Islam, and maintains rights and earnings of Moslems.
One of our goals that we always ask Allah to bestow success upon us to achieve them is to strengthen the solidarity of Moslems, and dedicate opportunities of cooperation between their countries, to reach more realizations that support their prestige, and unite them in a way that brings them glory and strength. The Kingdom would not save an effort to continue its good role among Arabic countries and Islamic nation.
The policy of brotherhood and cooperation that our country adopts in dealing with brotherly Arabs and Moslems is the very policy that controls its relations with its close neighbors. We respect each other’s wills, and we meet whenever possible to cooperate together, to achieve joint abundant goodness to our countries and people. We know quite well, as they know too, that this would sustain the stability of our countries, and attain reassuring and luxury to citizens. Cooperation Council of Arabic Gulf States had an effective role in working to achieve these goals. It is our right to be happy with achievements done throughout this Council. Unless the presidents in the region are convinced of the feasibility of their meetings under this Council, they would not have added to their regular annual summits the so-called consultative meeting that is held every six months or whenever needed. It is the duty of the Kingdom to support the goals of this Council, and to help to prepare all opportunities of success it needs to fulfill its missions and duties.
In the framework of preparing further opportunities for understanding and cooperation with our neighbors, we showed, and still show, great pleasure for historical achievements done in the past year, which are represented in signing the treaty of international borders with Republic of Yemen, the approval of the agreement concerning the underwater region adjacent to the divided area between Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as well as signing with Qatar the final maps of land borders and the marine borders that were set.
Signing the agreement of security cooperation with Islamic republic of Iran helped, by the will of Allah, to solidify and strengthen brotherly relationships between the two countries.
The past year witnessed these important achievements regarding supporting our relationships with our neighbors. That happened in response to fulfilling the desires of all parties, to create a more positive atmosphere that could contribute in developing relationships of brotherhood, and increase opportunities of beneficent cooperation in all fields.
I take the opportunity of this meeting to thank princes of regions, and to praise Councils of regions for their support to the course of development in the country and pushing forward the wheel of development in various regions.
At the end, I pray to Allah that He bestows success upon you in the new session. I recommend you to obey Allah in what you do and say. I recommend you too to consider the benefit of your country as this matter should be highly esteemed because it is a big responsibility and valuable trust.
I would not forget to thank His Highness the president of the Council, his deputy, the general secretary and all organizations of the Council for their efforts to succeed missions of this foundation which we are all proud of its achievements and wish that it abides by correct path.
Fare thee well.