Saudi Shoura Council members welcome King Salman’s focus on new direction

:: King Salman’s speech at the Shoura Council on Wednesday that defined the contours of Saudi Arabia’s domestic and foreign policies was widely welcomed.

In the televised speech focused on economic issues, the king described corruption as a threat to economic development and vowed to confront corruption with “justice and decisiveness.”

He called for a political solution for crises in the region, topped by the restoration of the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights, including the right to establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Commenting on the speech, Dr. Hanan Al-Ahmadi, a Shoura Council member, said the speech reflected the Kingdom’s strong stance on Jerusalem and “how it will remain Palestine’s capital.”

King Salman in his speech categorically said: “I would like to reiterate the condemnation of the Kingdom and its deep regret at the US decision on Jerusalem, which represents blatant bias against the historic rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, which have been guaranteed by international resolutions and have been recognized and supported by the international community.”

He said he had directed ministers and officials to expand the number of programs affecting the main needs of citizens. “Notably, the most important one is the housing program,” he said.

Dr. Ferdous Al-Saleh, another council member, remarked: “The king focused on the benefits and interests of Saudi citizens through housing and he also made it very clear that the government supports the private sector.”

Dr. Fawziah Aba Alkhail remarked on how the king addressed the issue with all transparency, which has been known throughout his reign.

“He touched on the issues that we really care about, one of which is obviously women’s empowerment. I think that the understanding of the effectiveness of women within society was very clear in his speech,” said another Shoura Council member Dr. Hoda Al-Helaissi.

Al-Helaissi said: “The king is, and always will be a father figure and that is why, whenever he comes to the Shoura (Council), and whenever we see him at social events, it strikes a chord with everybody. Whenever we see him it is like seeing your father; you’re seeing the hope he has for his people. That feeling of pride and nationalism is epitomized within him.”

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