x

Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

King Salman calls for curbing of Iran's influence

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques made the remarks during his annual address to the Shura Council

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud seen attending the inauguration of the Haramain Railway connecting Mecca and Medina with the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia September 25, 2018. Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud seen attending the inauguration of the Haramain Railway connecting Mecca and Medina with the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia September 25, 2018. Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court

King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has called on the international community to stop Iran’s policy of sowing “chaos and destruction” abroad.

During his annual address to the Shura Council, Saudi Arabia’s formal advisory body, King Salman addressed several topics including the Kingdom’s foreign policy and vision for regional security.

He reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to fighting terrorism in the region and investing in the future of the Arab world.

“The Kingdom will continue to confront extremism and terrorism, and will lead the push to create more investment opportunities in the region,” King Salman said.

Palestine was the first foreign country he mentioned, with the King saying that the Palestinian cause will remain Saudi Arabia’s “first issue”.

He called on the international community to counter Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programme, and reiterated Saudi Arabia's support for UN efforts to end the war in Yemen.

“The Iranian regime has consistently intervened in the affairs of other states and sponsored terrorism, sowing chaos and destruction in many countries,” he said.

King Salman described the efforts of Saudi soldiers in Yemen as a foremost example of “sacrifice and courage”, saying that they are fighting for the future of the region.

The King made no mention of the recent murder by of dissident writer Saudi Jamal Khashoggi by officials in the Kingdom's Istanbul consulate but said he fully supports the country's judiciary.

“The Kingdom was founded on an Islamic approach based on the establishment of justice, and we cherish the efforts of the lawyers and the public prosecutors in carrying out their entrusted tasks, and affirm that this country will not be derailed from the application of God's laws,” he said.

_____________

Read more:

Saudi Ambassador to the US disputes Washington Post account of Khashoggi murder

Arab Coalition throws its weight behind Yemen peace talks

UAE, Saudi, UK and US establish committee to address Yemen war

_______________

Turning to regional developments, King Salman commended efforts by Iraq to foment closer ties to Saudi Arabia and that “he looks forward to strengthening that cooperation”.

Time spent speaking about peace and stability abroad was matched by discussion of the country's reform project, Saudi 2030.

Speaking to a packed hall in Riyadh, where the audience included Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir, the King emphasised his support for the private sector in creating jobs for citizens.

King Salman said he was putting Saudi citizens first and will look to advance the position of both youth and women in the coming year.

“The Saudi citizen is the main engine of development and its effective tool, and the youth and young women of this country are the mainstay of achievement and hope of the future, as Saudi women are a full-fledged partner in accordance with our tolerant law,” he said.

He has advised the president of the Economic Council, his son Crown Prince Mohammed, to focus on creating new jobs for the coming generation of Saudi citizens.

He ended by saying Saudi Arabia will continue to develop its oil economy based on their role of using the natural resource to promote international co-operation. He said that he will use international bodies to maintain the stability of oil markets.