King Abdullah’s 2008 policy address to the Shura Council

March 15, 2008

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, thanks to Allah and peace and blessings be upon Prophet Mohammed.  

Dear Brothers and Shura Council Members:

May peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

With Allah’s help, we open the fourth year of the fourth session of the Shura Council, praying to Almighty Allah to bless our efforts and make our deeds sincere to Him. We ask Allah to complete our noble purposes, make our experience successful, make our thinking right and make our sincerity pure in a hard, concerned and fluctuated world where nothing preserves our experience and achievements except for the mercy of Allah Almighty and our full awareness of the course of humanitarian experiments that have not accelerated their pace before knowing their own path.

Dear Brothers:

Political stability is a prerequisite for maintaining the entity of the state and developing and protecting its achievements. Therefore, the ruling succession system was completed by the issuance of Allegiance Commission and its regulations as well as the formation of the Allegiance Commission. In addition, the judicial system and Court of Grievances Laws were updated and $1.9 billion [SR 7 billion] allocated to the development of judiciary.

In the economic field, we have worked on improving and developing existing infrastructure projects. New projects in various sectors have been approved to achieve balanced development throughout the regions of the Kingdom. In the current year’s budget, $44.2 billion [SR 165 billion] was allocated for new and existing projects. With the help of Allah, these projects will contribute to raising the economic growth rate and creating job opportunities.

The education and training sectors have received their own share of attention. We hope that the Development Project will contribute to the field of public education by developing the capacity of Saudi students and enabling them to absorb scientific developments. Public education is the basis of any scientific progress and real development. Higher education has witnessed a great leap – the number of universities increased to cover all regions of the Kingdom.

The energy and environment fields have also received the attention of your leadership. This was reflected in the convention of the Third OPEC Summit this November in Riyadh, resulting in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s announcement that it had allocated $300 million to financing research on energy, environment and climate change.

When your government creates its policies and develops its programs, it takes into account the public interest, senses the needs of citizens and addresses any problem or phenomenon emerging in Saudi society. Therefore, it has established a number of government commissions and departments as well as private associations concerned with the affairs and interests of citizens, including the National Commission for Protecting Integrity and Fighting Corruption, the General Commission for Housing and the Consumer Protection Association.

Also, a main unit has been established in the Ministry of Trade and Industry to deal with consumer affairs. With the help of Allah, the government will work on achieving development, raising citizens’ standard of living and improving their quality of life.

Dear Brothers:

The deviant group sought to develop its destructive capabilities to inflict greater damage on the homeland and its achievements. It also extended its base of support. However, I assure you of our continued determination to confront this group. Your brothers, brave security men, have achieved successive accomplishments in dismantling the deviant group’s cells, choking its sources of financing and revealing the reality of its thought. We thank and appreciate the security men, and may Allah bless the martyrs’ souls.

Dear Brothers:

The Palestinian cause has witnessed developments in recent months which we hope will promote peace. In this regard, we emphasize the position of the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who support the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights. We also renew the commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the peace initiative.

Dear Brothers:

From here, I address every citizen. I advise you, and myself, to fear Allah and to be dedicated to having among us neither oppressor nor oppressed, neither depriver nor the deprived, neither strong nor weak. We are all beloved brothers in one homeland where we adhere to bonds of our religion and sacrifice our lives for it, and where we adhere to the unity of nation and do not hear appeals of ignorance whether they are in the guise of sectarian, regional or tribal extremism.

Your strong unified state will remain, Allah willing, stronger than any challenges. All at home and abroad must be aware that the period of chaos and dissension eliminated by our founder the late King Abdulaziz Al-Saud (may Allah bless his soul) has gone and will not return. With the help of Allah, this period will only be a memory that enhances our concepts of morality and affiliation to this nation; an affiliation that considers difficulties and turns them into determination, will and change.

May peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you.