3rd Term 3rd Year, 1424 - 1425 A.H.
King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud
In the inauguration of the works of third year of third session of The Shura National council on 16th Rabea Al-Awal 1424 A.H.
Dear members of The Shura council:
Stemming from its belief in Islamic roots and Arabic values, our Saudi people reject all types and kinds of terrorism. It would not allow some sickly terrorist to jeopardize the country and the safety of people and expatriates living in it. It would not allow for an aberrant thought that promotes and nourishes terrorism to exist, even if this aberrant thought tries to pretend religiousness. Our true religion is in fact innocent of terrorism and its ideology. This nation has united against all aspects of terrorism disease. It is capable by the cooperation of its people to achieve that.
As we reject the interference of anybody into our internal affairs, under whatsoever pretext, we are so careful to continuously review and reconsider our internal affairs ourselves aiming only at reform. Reform is the purpose of believers who should not be affected by what troublemakers say that attempts to reform are merely a response to external pressures. All of you know, and all of Saudi people know that the course of reform was never interrupted, and that it would continue.
You, as well as Saudi people, have seen achievements of reform politically, administratively, economically and socially. I would only preview with you in brief what has been mainly done. You, the members of the Council, were real partners of the government in the field of political and managerial development. I would like to mention here that some initiatives in governmental restructure were born, discussed and thoroughly considered in this council. The ministerial structure then represented these initiatives. Some of them are still being examined. I don’t forget here to mention the importance of laws related to actions and criminal procedures. They are laws that were deeply examined by this respected Council, and they were issued, aiming at facilitating the actions at law, achieving justice among citizens and protecting them from the abuses of authority. In the same context, the approval of establishing a civil society for the rights of man was issued. These rights were first called for by Islam. This society would be followed by establishing a governmental foundation that is concerned with the very rights, so that efforts of the government and citizens collaborate together to protect the dignity and esteem of all people. I would like to assure you that we are going on in the path of political and managerial reform. We would work on reviewing laws and instructions, closely controlling the performance of governmental bodies, widening the range of popular participation, and opening wider horizons for the work of women within the injunctions of Islamic law. No need to mention that your respected Council would completely fulfill its role to achieve desired reforms.
Economically speaking, the state made many initiatives that target liberating economy from routine impediments, encouraging investors internally and abroad, privatization of economical facilities and making them an ownership of citizens, taking care of tourism sector, and reviewing tax laws. The best proof of the interest of the government in economy is the establishment of higher economical Council, and the establishment of a Ministry of Economy and Planning. Economical reform is a continuous process that is too important. The success of which depends on the success of economical development and improving the living standards of citizens.
Talking about economical reform, I don’t’ forget to focus on two main problems: unemployment and poverty. You know quite well the efforts of the state to nationalize labor force and to spread Saudization. You know too that eliminating unemployment needs further efforts to provide more educational and training opportunities for our male and female youths, and to review academic specializations so that they fulfill the need of society for technicians and professionals.
Regarding poverty, the state did a pioneering initiative that highlighted the problem. Currently there are deep studies on the phenomena of poverty; they are conducted by elite of Saudi experts. We hope they conclude effective recommendations that their positive results are felt by citizens everywhere. Yet the path of reform can only be productive in an atmosphere of social concord that is built upon national unity. Here it is noteworthy that national unity conflicts with extremist thesis and requires pure atmosphere of quite brotherly talk. To consider that adopting the moderate fair address is a responsibility of every citizen, it is a responsibility that should be undertaken by our scholars on whom we depend to spread tolerance that distinguishes our forbearing legitimacy, and to save our youths from the evil of destructive ideas that propagate hatred and exaggeration, and only produces destruction and damage.
Experiences westwards and eastwards taught us that real reform is one that stems from the belief and heritage of the nation. Reform is what the nation seeks voluntarily not involuntarily. Reform is something done gradually and smoothly avoiding pernicious speed and killing slowness.
In order to clarify for everybody the seriousness of the state in going forward in reform according to the developmental approach we agreed upon, and based on credibility that is based on deeds not words, I say to every male and female citizen that each of us has a role and responsibility. No more time for escaping responsibility, blaming others and for raising doubts over the credibility and honesty of persons that seek reform. I say to every responsible person in the government that responsibility is an honor that entails duties and does not grant rights. I say to every businessman that the country is not only a capital and material gains; it is also in investing security and safety. I say to every female citizen whether a sister, a mother, a daughter or a wife that this country is for everybody. The good female citizen is a partner in making the future just as a good male citizen. I say to people in charge of all stages of education that they are the guardians of future generations. Good meaningful curriculum inculcates ideas and convictions in young and innocent people towards the benefit and goodness of the nation. Defects in education are a main reason for any intellectual or moral deviation or inability to work and participate. I say to informed and educated people that media is not a promotion, knowledge is not a distinction, national unity and international existence is subject to a responsible media and an initiative and various cultural movements. I say to all citizens that one of the most important duties is to face petty-minded and regional and social discrimination. They are matters that our religion requires before our national unity. I say to you, The Shura members, and to members of councils of regions and municipalities that you are required to enhance your means and to undertake your responsibilities in the real context of participation and controlling the performance of managerial bodies. I say to everybody there is no more room for a person benefiting from his position or from abusing his authority.
You should have felt the painful sorrow for the bloody events in brotherly Iraq. We did not save an effort to prevent these events. We would not save an effort now to handle their results and consequences. We wish that Iraq gets out of its ordeal, and be back an independent prosperous Arabic country that lives safely with its neighbors and that citizens enjoy peace and well being in it.
In this regard, I don’t forget to highlight the responsible genuine attitude of decent Saudi people. It followed the updates with awareness and prudence. It was careful about the unity of this valuable country and away from the causes and reasons of discrimination. It is now standing besides brotherly Iraqi people offering them the hand of help and assistance. It is ready to completely undertake efforts and sacrifice to rebuild Iraq.
Commitment of Saudi Arabia to the Arabic core issue, that is the Palestinian issue and attaining legitimate rights of Palestinian people still constitutes a basic rule for foreign policy of the kingdom.
In this regard, the Kingdom supported all initiations aiming to revitalize peace process including “road map”. It succeeded with the Arab countries to make the Arabic initiative adopted in Beirut Summit a reference for the “road map”, for which we see it is important that Security Council issues a resolution regarding it in order to gain necessary credibility. Yet it is necessary to mention in this regard the necessity of stopping continuous violations by Israel and aggressive practices it commits in occupied Arab lands. We should mention too the necessity of protecting Palestinians from these violations so that they could execute their undertaken responsibilities. Yet if Israel goes on in its aggression, in imposing economical blockade on Palestinians and not declaring its agreement on “road map”, it is the duty then of international society and especially USA and European countries to do everything that could dissuade Israel from its excess in taking such uncompromising attitudes.
Dear Members of the National The Shura Council,
We face a world that is before a crossroads, where some principles are down and others are up, some leagues are fallen and others are established. The principles of international system were back, and replaced by new forms now that their associations are still not clear. The revolution of information had influenced all social, economical, and political grounds of the world. Countries worldwide whether in north or south are dealing with these changes, trying to understand them and link them with their cultural, social and political reality. They seek to subdue them to their historical heritage and values. We dear brothers are part of this world. We can’t separate ourselves from it. We can’t be quite while the world is changing. We don’t accept to be simple spectators while everybody is racing in forming the shapes of the new world especially that this country is in the heart of Islamic nation. It is the cradle of Arabization. We all should be capable of this challenge. We can only be so if we maintain our forgiving faith, if we guarantee our national unity, if we unite our message internally and abroad, and if we consolidate in assuming responsibilities and fulfilling tasks.