RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman delivered the opening address of the annual royal inaugural speech of the fourth year of the eighth session of the Shoura Council, on behalf of King Salman, on Wednesday.
The crown prince was received at the headquarters of the Shoura Council by the Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar; Deputy Riyadh Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz; and the Speaker of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh.
The annual meeting began with the reciting of the Qur’an and then Al-Asheikh took to the podium to deliver the opening remarks before the crown prince’s speech.
Al-Asheikh said that in the third year of the eight sessions of the council, the Shoura Council had held 48 sessions and issued 379 resolutions.
In his opening remarks the crown prince underlined that the Kingdom had made vast achievements across various sectors.
He said: “Your country is proceeding with its development renaissance in accordance with Vision 2030 and its ambitious programs which will contribute to preserving the Kingdom’s advanced position globally, (while) achieving further development, prosperity, and quality of life for its citizens.”
Discussing Hajj and Umrah, the crown prince added that the Kingdom this year welcomed 1.8 million pilgrims to perform Hajj and more than 10 million to perform for Umrah.
He also highlighted how the Kingdom had worked to strengthen global cooperation and friendly relationships with countries around the world, adding that Saudi Arabia hosted a number of major summits that had brought together more than 100 countries in 2023.
The crown prince also spoke of the Kingdom’s efforts in holding events such as the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh in November which welcomed leaders of the states and governments of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the League of Arab States.
He detailed the Kingdom’s efforts in encouraging leaders to take a joint stance to put pressure on the international community to take serious and firm positions to stop Israeli aggression and allow the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.
The crown prince stressed that the Kingdom’s approach to foreign affairs was based on respect for the national sovereignty of all countries; non-interference in their internal affairs; permanent commitment to the principles of international legitimacy and its resolutions; adherence to the principles of good neighborliness and resolving disputes by peaceful means; and adopting programs to enhance security and stability in the region and the world.
He added that the Kingdom’s selection as host of Expo 2030 served as confirmation of its global standing and trust as an ideal interface to host prominent international forums.
The crown prince also highlighted a historic milestone in the Kingdom’s tourism sector, saying that the sector grew by 64 percent in the first quarter of 2023.
He added that Saudi Arabia became the fastest-growing economy among the G20 countries in 2022, with a rate of 8.7 percent growth in domestic product, as well as growth in the non-oil domestic product by about 4.8 percent, making it among the 20 most competitive countries in the world.
The crown prince said that the Kingdom will continue to work toward economic transformation in accordance with the goals of Vision 2030, adding that the positive results already achieved showed the promise of more success in future economic reforms to strengthen the financial position of the Kingdom.
Closing the Shoura Council session, the crown prince thanked his brothers and sisters in the council for their contributions in serving their homeland.
The Shoura Council’s annual royal speech serves as a road map of the ambitions of the Kingdom and touches upon a wide variety of topics and issues, including domestic, foreign and economic matters.