King Salman calls for political solution in Yemen during Shoura Council speech

King Salman gave his annual speech at the opening of the third year of the Shura Council’s seventh session on Monday.

:: King Salman on Monday pledged to continue the Kingdom’s fight against extremism and all forms of terrorism. He also vowed to support the system of social services and sustainable growth for citizens. His annual policy speech at the opening of the third year of the Shoura Council’s seventh session highlighted the Kingdom’s priorities for the coming year and defined the contours of its domestic and foreign policies.

The speech focused on issues such as the war in Yemen, the Palestinian issue, stability in the oil market, countering Iranian interference in the region and job creation for Saudis. “The Kingdom will maintain its effort to resolve regional crises,” he said.

The king reaffirmed that resolution of the Palestinian issue was on top of the Kingdom’s priorities. “At the 29th Arab Summit, which we called the Jerusalem Summit, we affirmed that the Palestinian cause is our main concern and will remain so until our brothers, the Palestinian people, gain all their legitimate rights, especially the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.

Expressing the Kingdom’s support to reach a political solution in accordance with the UN resolutions, the king said that standing by the Yemeni people in confronting the aggression of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias was “not an option, but a duty.”

“We reaffirm our rejection of the continuous attempts of Houthi militias to impose their will on the Yemeni people, and obstruct the efforts to reach a political solution,” he said.

King Salman deplored the decades-long Iranian interference in the affairs of other countries and the Iranian regime’s support to terrorism in the region. “It is time for this chaos and devastation to stop,” he said. The king also called on the international community to take action to curb the Iranian regime’s nuclear and ballistic missiles program and to put an end to its destabilizing activities in the region.

He stressed the need for an urgent political solution to end the turmoil in Syria and to stave off terrorist organizations and foreign meddling in the war-torn country and allow the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland. The king expressed his satisfaction over the measures taken to strengthen Saudi-Iraqi ties.

Highlighting the Kingdom’s humanitarian gestures toward friendly countries and allies, he said: “It will work with its partners and friends from around the world to help developing and low-income countries, and enable them to grow their economies.”

He also vowed to work with other oil producers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to ensure oil market stability.

“The Kingdom was founded on Islamic principles of justice and equality, and we are proud of the efforts of the judiciary and the public prosecution and the performance of the job entrusted to them,” the king said.

He also expressed his satisfaction over the ongoing development programs being undertaken in line with Vision 2030.

“We will continue to support plans and programs to reduce unemployment to acceptable levels. We have directed the Council for Economic Affairs and Development to focus on developing human capabilities and preparing the new generation for future jobs.

King Salman also vowed to support the country’s private sector and “to enable it as a partner in the ambitious economic growth journey.”

Commenting on the recent royal tours to different parts of the Kingdom, he said he had directed the crown prince and all ministers to monitor the needs and development priorities of all the regions.

“Social issues are our top priority. The government will continue to support the system of social services and provide targeted support according to the requirements of needy groups, so that they can produce, be economically efficient and get decent livelihoods. We will support civil society institutions to play their role in this regard.”

King Salman gave his annual speech at the opening of the third year of the Shura Council’s seventh session on Monday.

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