I have committed myself to continuing the work on the immutable foundations upon which this blessed country has stood since its unification: adherence to Islamic law, or “sharia”; preservation of the unity, security and stability of this country; and continuance of constructions and completions of the foundations laid out by the late kings of this country. We shall work continually towards integrated, balanced and comprehensive development in all regions of the Kingdom; justice for all citizens; and provision of opportunities for all to achieve their legitimate aspirations and wishes in accordance with the state’s regulations and procedures.
Every citizen in our country, in every part of our land, has all of my attention and care. There is no difference between one citizen and another, nor is there a difference between one region and another. I look forward to the contributions of all in serving the homeland. I have instructed the minister of interior to emphasise to the governors of the regions the importance of receiving and listening to the ideas and suggestions of citizens.
We affirm our commitment to addressing the causes of inequality and eliminating all conditions that would stratify society in a way that harms national unity. The media plays a major role in supporting these efforts, by providing an opportunity to express opinions and air the facts, instead of provoking disagreement among the various components of society. The media must be contributors to harmony and a constructive spirit, and a cause of strengthening the bonds of unity and national cohesion.
Since the era of the founder, the process of development has been the distinctive mark of the state, and this shall continue in line with the progress witnessed by our society, in accordance with our religious and social values, and in a way that preserves the rights of all segments of society.
I have emphasised to all public officials, especially those at the Council of Political and Security Affairs and the Council of Economic Affairs and Development, the need to redouble efforts to provide citizens with the means of enjoying a decent and fulfilling life. This is the least to be expected, and we will not tolerate any complacency in this regard. Therefore, I am addressing ministers and officials in saying, “We are all to work in service of the citizen, who is our main concern.” We have directed that the systems of regulatory bodies be reviewed to enhance their jurisdiction and performance to better carry out their duties and responsibilities, and to contribute to eradicating corruption, saving public money and ensuring attentive accounting.
Security is a cherished blessing and is the basis of the prosperity and stability of peoples. The Saudi citizen has always shown great awareness of responsibility, and has formed – alongside his leadership and government – a strong fortification against those envious hate-mongers, and has foiled many plans that target the country’s youth and wealth. To our sons and daughters and all who are residing in our country, we say, “Security is everyone’s responsibility and we will not allow anyone to tamper with our security and stability.”
Over the past several years, high oil prices have positively influenced the Saudi economy and contributed to the completion of many projects, and we shall be working towards building a solid economy based on firm ground that will lead to further diversification of income sources. This will lead to better savings and better job opportunities in both the public and private sectors. We are going to encourage and support small and medium-sized enterprises, so that these may grown and become a strong economic area for a large segment of society. The coming years will witness strong achievements that enhance industrial and services roles in the national economy. Though oil prices are dropping and affecting the Saudi economy, we are working to limit the effects of this on the march of development. And operations for the exploration of oil and gas will continue, by the grace of Allah.
In the social realm, we are working on developing public services by improving health care for all citizens throughout the Kingdom, so that health care centres, referrals and specialised hospitals will be available to all citizens wherever they are. In terms of housing services, we are going to implement speedy practical solutions that provide suitable housing for citizens. In the field of education, we directed that it be developed through an integration of public and higher education, and that its infrastructure be enhanced to ensure compatibility between educational output and the needs of job market.
To our sons and daughters, I say that their country has pursued all options and smoothed all the means so that they may enjoy the best education at the most prestigious universities locally and abroad. Their country looks forward to their contributions. They must invest their time well, as they are their country’s investment. We are committed to ensuring the availability of jobs and professions that promise them a respectable life. Both the public and the private sector have a responsibility to do this.
As for the businessmen in our country, they are our partners in development. The state works to support the private sector so that it can contribute to improving the national economy. They are part of the fabric of this country, which has granted them many privileges and thus awaits much from them. They have a commitment to take initiatives in terms of employment and social and economic services.
Regarding our brave sons in all of the military sectors, I tell them that their place in relation to their country is as that of the heart in relation to the body. They are the protectors and shields of the nation. Every one of them is close to me and holds a place in my attention and care. The country appreciates their great efforts in protecting this nation and maintaining the security and safety of its citizens.
Saudi foreign policy is always committed to the teachings of our religion, calling for love and peace in accordance with its principles. One of the most important principles is that the Kingdom continue to adhere to its international treaties, conventions and charters, including respecting the principle of sovereignty and rejecting any attempt to intervene in our internal affairs, as well as continued defence of Arab and Islamic issues in international forums in various ways. This includes the achievement of what the Kingdom has always sought and will always seek – namely, that the Palestinian people be granted their legitimate rights and be able to establish their independent state with Al-Quds as its capital.
We are moving towards Arab and Islamic solidarity by purifying the atmosphere and uniting to face the risks and challenges being posed. To accomplish this, we are working to achieve security and stability, and to establish the principles of justice and peace, along with a commitment to dialogue, resolution of differences through peaceful means, and rejection of the use of force or any actions that threaten international peace and security.
With the emergence of the phenomenon of terrorism as a global scourge which has no religion, the Kingdom has focused on the fight against extremism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever its sources, and on cooperation with brotherly and friendly countries and international organisations in the fight against this detestable menace, and in seeking to eradicate its roots and causes.
We are part of this world, and thus its problems and challenges are ours as well. We all share this responsibility and will actively contribute by putting forward solutions for the many urgent global issues, including protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development. We will therefore continue to work with international organisations on these issues as well as with our foreign partners.
Excerpted from public remarks made on March 10, 2015
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