King Salman: Saudi Arabia Reaffirms Continued Support for UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Reach a Political Solution in Yemen

Monday 19 November 2018
Riyadh - MENA Herald:

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud today (Monday) said that Saudi Arabia reaffirms its continued support for United Nations and Gulf Arab efforts to reach a political solution in Yemen. King Salman made his remarks in a speech on Saudi policy to inaugurate the Shura Council’s new session.

“The Kingdom has repeatedly affirmed that standing by the Yemeni people was not an option, but a duty. We are obliged to support the Yemeni people in confronting the aggression of Iranian-backed militias,” King Salman said in the speech to mark the inauguration of the activities of the third year of the seventh session of the Shura Council.

“The Kingdom reaffirms its continued support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the UN’s Secretary-General to Yemen to reach a political solution in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism, and the outcomes of Yemen’s comprehensive national dialogue,” King Salman added in the broad address covering Saudi Arabia's internal and external policy.

“We reaffirm our rejection of the continuous attempts of Houthi militias to impose their will on the Yemeni people, and obstruct the efforts to reach a political solution.”

Saudi Arabia, King Salman said, continues to provide assistance and support to the people of Yemen, where Saudi aid over the past two years has reached more than USD $4 billion.

The session was attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well as Cabinet Ministers and other senior officials.

 

IRANIAN MEDDLING MUST STOP

On Iran, King Salman said that for nearly four decades the Iranian regime kept on interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and sponsoring and supporting the forces of terrorism in the region.

“These criminal acts, which violate the most basic international norms and conventions, are added to the Iranian regime's record of causing chaos and devastation in many of the region’s countries. It is time for this chaos and devastation to stop,” he said.

“The international community must work to put an end to the  Iranian regime's nuclear and ballistic missiles program, and stop its destabilizing activities in the region and its flagrant interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”

 

OIL MARKET STABILITY

 King Salman also touched on the oil policy of Saudi Arabia, a key member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“As for oil markets, the Kingdom will continue to work constructively with other producers within and outside OPEC to maintain market stability, thus protecting all the interests of the producers and consumers alike.”

 

VISION 2030

Regarding Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s roadmap for the future spearheaded by the Crown Prince, including a diversified economy beyond oil, the King said: “Saudi Arabia is undergoing a development shift at all levels as a result of the plans and programs of Vision 2030 of the kingdom, with unprecedented government spending. According to the latest periodic performance reports of Vision 2030 programs, they are proceeding in parallel and at satisfactory rates, and some of their achievements have begun to emerge and we are determined to go ahead with a march of reform.”

The Kingdom’s efforts to find more employment opportunities, training and rehabilitation for the young men and women of the nation are no secret, the King said.

“We will continue to support plans and programs to reduce unemployment to acceptable levels. We have directed the Council for Economic Affairs and Development to focus on developing human capabilities and preparing the new generation for future jobs,” he told the Shura Council.

“Our country has witnessed the launch of huge and promising sectors such as tourism, renewable energy and mining. All of this will contribute to building a balanced labour market that takes into account the needs of the future and restructures itself with high efficiency that responds to changes,” the King said.

“It is our priority in the next phase to continue our support to the Saudi private sector and to enable it as a partner in the ambitious economic growth journey, in order for your country to become one of the pioneers in investment in future technologies as a new extension of our national and global economy.”

 

EXPENDITURE & ECONOMIC GROWTH

The King reaffirmed support to Saudi Arabia's financial policies, including achieving balance between controlling expenditure while raising its efficiency and supporting economic growth.

He said his recent and upcoming visits to the Kingdom’s regions stem from his keenness to meet citizens and view the development projects there. He said he directed HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and all relevant ministers to monitor the needs and development priorities of the regions, and to pinpoint vital projects under construction to accelerate their execution. The officials have been tasked to keep him constantly informed to ensure all necessary decisions related to these projects are made, he said.

He also stressed the importance of continuous follow-up to improve all services provided to citizens, especially in relation to education and healthcare.

King Salman also said the Kingdom will continue its policy of improving services to Hajj and Umrah pilgrims and to raise them to the highest level.

 

EMPOWERING SAUDI WOMEN & YOUTH

King Salman said the Kingdom will continue to boost the participation of Saudi women and youth in the country’s development. “The youth of this country are the pillars of achievement and the hope of the future. Saudi women are a partner with full rights according to our Sharia law and we will continue our efforts to strengthen their participation in blessed national development,” King Salman said.

The government, he said, will continue to boost the country’s social services system, including supporting citizens with lower incomes.

“Social issues are our top priority,” the King said. “The government will continue to support the system of social services and provide targeted support according to the requirements of needy groups, so that they can produce, be economically efficient and get decent livelihoods. We will support civil society institutions to play their important and active role in this regard.”

 The Kingdom is also proceeding with its plans to fully develop the governance of its institutions and authorities, ensuring the proper enforcement of regulations and principles, and avoiding any excesses or errors, the King said.

 

PALESTINIAN ISSUE IS KEY

King Salman told the Shura Council that the Kingdom will continue its efforts to tackle all the crises in the region and resolve their issues, foremost of which is the Palestinian issue.

“At the 29th Arab Summit, which we called the Jerusalem Summit, we affirmed that the Palestinian issue is our main concern and will remain so until the brothers, the Palestinian people, gain all their legitimate rights, especially the establishment of their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Over the past two years, the Kingdom's assistance to the Palestinian people has exceeded more than USD $ 500 million.”

With regard to the Syrian crisis, the Kingdom calls for an urgent political solution to end the Syrian turmoil, stave off terrorist organizations and foreign meddling in the country, and allow the return of the Syrian refugees to their homeland, King Salman said.

On Iraq, he said the Kingdom applauds the steps taken to promote brotherly ties and cooperation between the two countries, and looks forward to continued efforts to enhance the prospects of bilateral cooperation in various fields.

He said the Kingdom will continue the programs to develop its military forces, including the advancement at an accelerated rate of programs for the localisation of military industries and the technologies needed.

The Kingdom will continue to confront extremism and terrorism, and “will stand firmly against any group that tries to hijack our true religion. We will continue to play a leading and development role in the region, thereby increasing regional and international investment opportunities,” he added.

Saudi Arabia, he said, is keen on strategic partnerships with friendly countries and will work with its partners and friends from around the world to help developing and low-income countries to enable them to develop their economies. The Kingdom has recently exempted a number of least developed countries from outstanding debts exceeding USD $6 billion, the King added.

The Speaker of Shura Council Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh has said in a press statement that the Shura Council was looking forward to this address which comes annually as a guideline to the deliberations of the Council.

 

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