Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal discussed Saudi efforts to promote progress in a panel discussion on the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) today. The panel was part of the National Council on US-Arab Relations conference in Washington.In his remarks, Prince Turki noted that as the largest member of the GCC, Saudi Arabia has the greatest role in promoting progress in the region. To that end, the Kingdom has adopted a process of gradual reform and modernization that reflects the will, pace and customs of the Saudi people.
Additionally, Saudi Arabia has enacted a number of economic reforms that have increased transparency and opened the Saudi economy to foreign investment. He also commented that the Kingdom has also taken steps to maintain stability in the energy market by expanding production capacity.
On a broader level, Prince Turki said that the Kingdom has cooperated with its partners in the GCC to reach economic, trade and fiscal agreements that will lead to an economic union by 2009. He remarked that the recent financial surpluses in GCC nations provide member countries with the opportunity to build closer ties, such as the Saudi-UAE agreement to build an economic city.
Prince Turki also noted that GCC member states are cooperating with the global community – including the United States – to seek peace and stability in the region, and with the Organization of the Islamic States to promote tolerance and fight poverty.
“Consideration, understanding and patience are the watchwords that will allow stable countries in the region – such as those in the GCC – to see the spread of security and prosperity, instead of creeping instability across this Middle East,” Prince Turki said.
“When looking ahead, King Abdullah continues to express hope for the people of the Middle East. But he also stresses that only through cooperation will we find enduring resolution.”
Transcript of Prince Turki’s prepared remarks