On the anniversary of King Salman assuming the throne as king of Saudi Arabia — an occasion which is dear to the hearts of Saudi society and all Arab and Islamic nations — we recall the massive accomplishments that our dear homeland has witnessed during his blessed reign. The past seven years have been marked by successive reforms, ongoing development and comprehensive modernization, characterized by strong support for developing and improving all services provided to Saudi citizens to ensure their comfort and welfare. At the same time, it has also been a reign based on accomplishment, action, resolve and insightful vision.
At the domestic level, our dear homeland has witnessed quantum leaps in the legislative and executive spheres, especially in the field of strategic planning, contributing to a qualitative transformation in the way Saudi policymakers forecast the future and develop coherent plans for reform. In addition to this, we have also been blessed by the announcement of the Kingdom’s pioneering Vision 2030, which has become a vital and necessary wellspring for advancing the country’s political, economic and social spheres.
King Salman’s ambitious vision is reflected in the skill and subtlety of Saudi decision-makers, particularly in how they manage resources, rationalize expenditure, address all forms of wastage, monitor and eliminate corruption, advance efforts to build and develop the national economy, and diversify sources of national income. And, in my view even more importantly, how they focus on investing in our society’s most important pillar — namely our citizens — through diverse and innovative initiatives that involve all the country’s institutions and engage all citizens from every sector and demographic in shaping the future of our benevolent homeland.
There is a strong need to promote a global media narrative explaining the true, dynamic, positive and rapidly progressing reality in the Kingdom to both Eastern and Western societies.
Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami
In addition, the Kingdom has paid close attention to the importance of environmental and climate-related issues and the impact of desertification and rising temperatures locally and internationally. This concern for environmental issues led to the introduction of the groundbreaking projects known as the Saudi Green initiative and the Middle East Green initiative, which were launched recently in the Saudi capital Riyadh in the presence of distinguished regional and global leaders. Over the past seven years, the Kingdom has witnessed the launch of several massive development projects that reflect the country’s will to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil.
On the other side, the Kingdom has managed, by God’s grace and the efforts of its leadership, with great insight and sensitivity, to successfully surmount all the often-daunting challenges facing it, such as the economic challenges stemming from fluctuations in the global economy, oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic, or the security challenges experienced by the Arab region.
Saudi Arabia’s leadership has also excelled in governance, digitalization and e-government, with the positive impact of this apparent during the pandemic. This technological advancement is contributing — in tandem with sound economic and development policies — to the country’s speedy recovery from the ramifications of the global health crisis.
At the Arab and Islamic level, the last six years have witnessed greater understanding between the Gulf states, especially regarding the challenges gripping the region. The Kingdom felt the danger posed by developments in the Yemeni arena and the genuine threat this presented to regional security and stability. Consequently, King Salman, as always an epitome of firmness and resolve, took a historic decision in coordination with his brothers in the Gulf and Arab world to put an end to this Yemeni threat by announcing the launch of Operation Storm of Resolve and Operation Restoring Hope to support legitimacy in Yemen, thwart the external expansionist projects in the Arab region and aid the vulnerable.
In the sphere of fighting extremism and terrorism during King Salman’s reign, the Kingdom announced the formation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, which includes 41 Islamic countries. The essential aim of this alliance is to encircle the dangers of terrorism and extremism and eradicate them in coordination with Arab, Islamic and other friendly countries.
The Kingdom also provided generous donations to poor countries to help them fight COVID-19 or overcome its fallout.
• Dr. Mohammed Al-Sulami is President of the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah). Twitter: @mohalsulami