King: Stability, jobs top priority

Updated 12 March 2015

King: Stability, jobs top priority

Saudi Arabia is trying to minimize the impact of plunging oil prices on its economy, said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Tuesday while emphasizing his government’s plan to develop a more diversified economy.
“The low prices witnessed by the oil market are having an effect on the Kingdom’s income. However, we are working toward minimizing the impact on development," the king said in his first major speech since acceding to the throne on Jan. 23.
King Salman told government officials and other dignitaries that the search for new deposits of oil, gas and other natural resources in the Kingdom would continue. “High petrol prices during the past few years have had a positive effect on the national economy and in the development of projects,” the king said.
But the plunge in oil prices has emphasized the need for economic alternatives, and King Salman said the Kingdom's future economy "will be based on a number of foundations," with a growing number of small and medium enterprises.
“The next few years will be full of important accomplishments aimed at emphasizing the role of the industry and the service sectors in the national economy.”
King Salman emphasized that he would work for ensuring justice for all citizens and give them opportunities to realize their dreams and aspirations.
“I am deeply concerned about every citizen in the country and every part of our beloved nation and all of tem will receive my care and support. There will not be any discrimination between citizens and regions,” he told senior princes, ministers, governors, Shoura members, top military commanders, the grand mufti, Islamic scholars, top editors and other dignitaries at his palace in Riyadh.
King Salman urged Saudis to stand united. “I would like to reaffirm my desire to challenge the causes of differences and reasons of division and end social classifications that hurt national unity. All citizens are equal in rights and duties,” he said.
King Salman stressed the role of media in enabling the public to express their opinion, and spreading facts without causing division and conflicts in society. “The media should be a means for strengthening national unity and boosting development.”
He said Saudi Arabia would continue its efforts to achieve comprehensive, integrated and balanced development for all regions. “Ever since the Kingdom’s founder, the government has been making continuous efforts for development and modernization, without deviating from religious principles and social values while protecting the rights of all citizens.”
He said he had instructed the Council for Political and Security Affairs and the Council for Economic and Development Affairs to double their efforts to boost citizens’ prosperity. “We’ll not accept any leniency in this matter,” he added.
King Salman told all ministers and government officials that they have been appointed in their positions to serve citizens. “We have instructed that systems of monitoring agencies must be reviewed to strengthen their efficiency and performance in order to fight corruption, protect public wealth and punish culprits.”
The king reminded citizens of their great responsibility in safeguarding the country’s security and stability and urged them to stand united with the leadership and government against the country’s spiteful enemies.
He praised the Kingdom’s security forces for their efforts to foil many terrorist operations that targeted the nation, its citizens and vital installations. “I would like to inform all citizens and residents in this country that security is the responsibility of all and we’ll not allow anybody to tamper with our security and stability.”
King Salman said the government would support small and medium enterprises to achieve substantial growth and serve as a strong economic base for a large group of citizens.
Referring to the service sector, he said the government would adopt effective steps to improve health services to citizens all over the Kingdom. “Health centers as well as referral and specialized hospitals will be made accessible to all.”
Speaking about housing problem, the king said the government would find quick and practical solutions for all citizens to have suitable homes. He emphasized the need to integrate general and higher education and provide advanced infrastructure facilities for educational institutions. “Graduates of these institutions must meet the country’s development and job market requirements.”
King Salman reiterated the government’s efforts to provide higher education to Saudis by enabling them to study at reputable institutions inside and outside Saudi Arabia. “The nation has lots of expectations from you and you have to concentrate on gaining the best education,” the king told students.
Describing students as an investment for the nation’s future, he said the government would continue its efforts to provide them with suitable jobs to have a decent living. “It’s joint responsibility of public and private sectors to provide employment opportunities for citizens,” he added.
Addressing businessmen and businesswomen, the king said: “You are partners in progress and the state supports the private sector to enhance its contribution to the national economy. We have provided a lot of facilities and special rights for you and the state expects from you a lot. You have to come up with initiatives for job creation and social and economic services.”
King Salman instructed regional governors to receive citizens and listen to their problems and proposals for the nation’s progress and take steps to enhance their welfare and comfort.
He highlighted King Abdul Aziz’s efforts to unify the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and establish a modern state on the basis of Shariah. “By the grace of God, your country is going ahead on the path of progress and growth, making solid steps, while adhering to the teachings of Shariah and preserving our culture and traditions.”
King Salman also spoke about the government’s efforts to enhance services for pilgrims who come for Haj and Umrah. “Since the time of its establishment, Saudi Arabia has been exerting all possible efforts in the service of Islam and to realize the hopes and aspirations of Muslims all over the world.” He said Saudi Arabia considered its services for the two holy mosques as an honor.
He also addressed the Kingdom’s armed and security forces and said the government would continue its efforts to strengthen their capabilities to defend the country’s security and stability.
“Our foreign policy is based on the teachings of Islam that calls for affection and peace as well as international charters and agreements...We reject interference in our internal affairs and we defend Arab and Islamic causes.”
He said Saudi Arabia has emphasized the right of the Palestinians to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. “We’ll continue our efforts to achieve Arab and Islamic unity and solidarity to improve relations and confront challenges. We’ll also work for global peace and stability.”
The king emphasized the Kingdom’s policy of settling differences through dialogue and peaceful means. He also referred to the Kingdom’s endeavors to fight terrorism and extremism in cooperation with the international community. Saudi Arabia will support efforts to protect environment and achieve sustainable development, he added.
The king began his speech by saying: “I have the pleasure to address you with a heart full of love and sincerity looking forward to a bright future for the country.” He concluded his speech by seeking God’s help to fulfill his responsibilities in the best manner.


Djibouti president to give keynote address at virtual launch of Arab News en Français

Updated 14 July 2020

Djibouti president to give keynote address at virtual launch of Arab News en Français

  • French ambassador to Saudi Arabia to inaugurate new digital news site

RIYADH: In an online ceremony linking Riyadh and Paris on France’s National Day, the Middle East’s leading English-language newspaper tonight launches Arab News en Français, its third overseas edition.
The virtual launch of the Arab News en Français website on Bastille Day will take place at 6 p.m. Paris time in the presence of distinguished guests, including guest of honor Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of the French-speaking Republic of Djibouti, who will be delivering a keynote speech.
The newest edition of Arab News will be formally launched in Riyadh by François Gouyette, the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who is also attending the virtual event.

Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce and investment and acting minister of media, will also give a speech at the ceremony.
Other guests at the launch — which will take place via an exclusive invitation-only Zoom video conference at 7 p.m. Riyadh time, and will be later carried on YouTube and other Arab News social media platforms — will include a large number of Saudi, Arab and French officials, diplomats and journalists.
The launch will also feature a special performance by Sawsan Al-Bahiti, Saudi Arabia’s first professional opera singer, who will sing “La Vie En Rose,” the song popularized by legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf.
Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s first English-language newspaper, was founded in 1975 and this year is celebrating its 45th anniversary.

Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi and François Gouyette.

The launch of Arab News en Français recognizes the growing importance of creating bridges of communication between the Arab world and French-speaking countries.
The new online edition joins two other international digital editions of Arab News, which launched a Pakistan edition in February 2018 and a Japanese one in October 2019.
Tonight’s launch ceremony will introduce Randa Takieddine, the chief Paris correspondent of Arab News en Française, who will take part in the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Arab News and Experience AlUla.
In collaboration with the Paris-based French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), the Royal Commission for AlUla is developing the ancient Unesco World Heritage Site of Hegra and its surroundings in the dramatic landscape of western Saudi Arabia as a major international cultural destination.

The first product of the cooperation with Experience AlUla is an Arab News Deep Dive presentation, “The Rebirth of AlUla”, which is available in French
In collaboration with the Paris-based French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), the RCU is developing the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra and its surroundings in the dramatic landscape of western Saudi Arabia as a major international cultural destination.
The first product of the cooperation with the RCU is an Arab News Deep Dive presentation, “The Rebirth of AlUla,” which is available in French (http://www.arabnews.fr/Alula/).
Paris was given a glimpse of the treasures of Hegra at the exhibition “AlUla: Wonder of Arabia,” which opened at the Institut du Monde Arabe in the French capital in October 2019.
The launch of the exhibition was attended by Prince Badr, Saudi Arabia’s minister of culture and governor of the RCU, and Franck Riester, the French minister of culture.
Other guests included prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, who is designing a luxury tourism resort for AlUla as part of a series of developments planned for the region.