H.E. Abdulrahman Al Rassi, Ambassador of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
My country, the Kingdom o fSaudi Arabia, who today celebrates 82 years since the unificationachieved in 1932 by KingAbdulaziz Bin AbdulRahman AlSaud, continues to be preoccupied with obtaining and preserving stability not only in the region, but in the entire world. Allah meant it tobe the cradle of the Islam and itsKing, Government and people toserve the two holy Mosques at Mecca and Medina, as well as allthe holy routes of the Islam.The complexity of the internationalsituation of today takes thecontribution and determination of all countries to setting ourselvesfirmly on the route of stability. Our kingdom never spared anyefforts towards stability, both inour region and in the entire world,having reliably upheld a vision that does not seek intrusion andfulfilment of own interests.I must eulogise the good diplomaticand political relationsbetween my country and ourfriend, Romania. We are on theverge of finalising the legislative framework needed for the furtherdevelopment of our relations in allfields, especially commercial andeconomic cooperation. It shouldnot be taken as criticism that Idraw attention on the need forboth countries to focus on economicrealities, given their respective potentials that can be put inthe service of the common interest.In spite of the fact that the volumeof trade has marked a threefoldrise in the last year, the growthis still insufficient if we look at figureswhich continue to be in theregion of several hundred million,while our growth target should bein the region of billions. The foreign policy of theKingdom of Saudi Arabia withregard to the entire international situation, primarily the issues concerning the area and geographicregion where it is situated, hasbeen characterised by the effort forkeeping security and peace andachieving a sustainable developmentfor all states, by using all political and economic means, aswell as through humanitarian aid. At a political international andregional level, my country has presentedpositive initiatives forstrengthening peace and security.
A moment not so far away in time that we cannot remember is the Agreement of Taief, signed inSaudi Arabia in 1989, which endedthe civil war in Lebanon that hadlasted 15 years. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz also presented an initiativefor settling the Arabian-Israeli conflict, which became the ArabPeace Initiative at the ArabSummit in Beirut, in 2002, butIsrael continued to obstinatelyrefuse to answer in a positive mannerto our call for installing a justand lasting peace in the region. Still at a political level, I must recallthe humanitarian effort made bymy country during the crises severalstates have been confrontedwith, the mediation we offered,alongside sister-countries on theGulf Cooperation Council duringthe deep crisis in Yemen, whileother states were acting to sabotagesuch efforts.In the same way, we cannotignore the assistance given to Syrian refugees to neighbouringcountries and its clear position infavour of efforts to put an end tothe grief of the Syrian people.Economically, the Kingdomcontributes to supporting theefforts of poor states to fight backthe impact of the internationalfinancial crisis, by increasing assistancefor development, humanitarianaid, bilaterally and multilaterally,supporting multinationaldevelopments banks. At the initiativeof King Abdullah Bin AbdulAziz, the King increased the capitalsof common Arab institutionsand funds by over 50 per cent, inview of giving an impetus to Arabeconomic cooperation and integrationand developing its mechanisms,to achieve developmentgoals and have an effective contributionto the economic and socialgrowth in the Arab world.Saudi Arabia plays an influentialand major role in the internationaleffort towards economicstability in the region and worldwide,by strengthening the stabilityof international energy markets,due to its active role on the worldpetroleum market and consideringthe interests of producing andconsuming countries. The finalstatement of the summit that tookplace in Los Cabos, Mexico, in2012, hails the efforts of theKingdom for keeping additionaloil production capacity in order tomeet existing demand. TheKingdom contributes to the IMFfunds for growing its role incounter-acting dangers threateningworld economy, by givingassistance including to poor countriesin the area and, at the sametime, participates as main contributorto the international financialinstitutions and G20.As far as the humanitarian aidand effort for introducing peaceand supporting sustainable developmentin the entire world, notjust the Mid-East are concerned,the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is inthe lead of world nations inrespect of the share represented byaid in its GDP. While the UN-setpercentage for donor states is 0.7per cent of their GDP, theKingdom awards aid worth 5.45per cent of its GDP, a share that isnot even matched by majorindustrialised states. The SaudiDevelopment Fund is the mainbody operating with Saudi aid fordevelopment to emerging statesand the Kingdom was also in thelead of states that instantly offeredsupport to the victims of naturalcatastrophes and civil wars thathit Arab and Islamic states,through civic organisations andcommittees supported by theSaudi Government. All such workis supplemented by an open-doorpolicy promoted by the Kingdomwho welcomed millions of foreignworkers and experts who sendback billions of dollars to theircountries with absolutely no constraint.I must note that mostsuch workers come from poornations and that they are welcomewithout any discrimination ofethnicity, religion or gender. Anew statistical report notes thatforeign workers transferred lastyear over USD 34 bn back totheir countries of origin and USD16 bn in the first four months thisyear. Transfers are free, no taxesbeing applied in our country. These are just a few of the contributionsand initiatives of theKingdom of Saudi Arabia in the matters on the agenda of the international community. And nowthe question: what are the factorsof instability in the region at present? One of the biggest is terrorism. Yes, one word and full stop. Then you can start a new linewithout anyone asking about therest of the sentence, because theword ‘terrorism’ has become a sentencein itself, a sentence with asubject and with a verb, a comprehensiblesentence. It is the plagueof the century. Not only does itcreates instability, which calls forour efforts to re-install order, but itrepresents total, cross-borderdestruction, crossing the bordersof states, regions and areas, and – Idon’t think it’s an overstatement -going beyond Terra itself, into theouter space. Aren’t we speakingnowadays about terrorism in thevirtual space. This country ofyours, with its good and welcomingpeople, gave this subject dueattention, by setting up a securitycentre for the virtual space.We recently watched the commemorationof 11 Septemberevents that we strongly condemn.We must remind that SaudiArabia received painful strokesfrom terrorism both before andafter September 11, but itremained firm on position, rejectedit, refused to dismember itselfunder its avalanche and comedown on its knees spiritually. Itchose to chase it away, it fought todry out its sources, its human andfinancial resources. It is a widescale project that takes the unity ofthe state and society. TheKingdom made the maximumeffort in that respect, but anotherthing that is needed is the solidarityof neighbouring countries inthe region and worldwide.Saudi Arabia, with its availablepotential and connections, rises upin arms while others hesitate andstumble on this difficult road. OnSeptember 11 this year, theKingdom hosted in the port-cityof Jeddah the international meetingleading to the formation of alarge international coalitionagainst terrorism. Under the powerfulpressure of my country, themeeting decided to terminateISIL. From that point of view, athing of utmost importance is thestatement made two days prior tothe meeting by His RoyalHighness Prince Saud al Faisal,Minister of Foreign Affairs, whoserole was to secure the success of themeeting, and who stressed that theKingdom firmly denounces all terroristaction in the Arab countriesand would not spare any effort tofight back this dangerous plaguethrough action not just throughwords, by promulgating laws andregulations criminalising terrorismand terrorist organisations, at thesame time decisively affirming theimportance of cooperation in allfields among all the nations of theworld in combating this scourgeand drying out its sources. Fighting terrorism in generalcalls for the solidarity of a hundrednations, in order to circle it anddrive it out of this world, be itISIL or Al-Qaeda, or otherextremist organisations in theregion. There is a differencebetween a strategy that envisagesan ongoing war on terrorism and astrategy that envisages moreintense fighting one day and alighter effort on another day. Forthis reason, the current position of Saudi Arabia is not a surprise andthe truth is that the world hasturned to Saudi Arabia as an oasisof security and awareness in theregion as expected, because what’scorrect will always be correct.I must add that King Abdullahbin Abdulaziz has fought the dangerof terrorism inside theKingdom and, since he took over,has warned the international communityabout the danger of terroristorganisations, asked the UN inNew York to set up an internationalcentre against terrorism thatopened two years ago and theKingdom donated USD 100 M.The King said the fight againstterrorism would be a long one,warned, before anyone else, aboutthe threat represented by ISIL andmobilised the public opinion and religious leaders in my countryagainst ISIL. The disinterest of the internationalcommunity in supporting afair solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict fuelled instabilityand increased the number of terroristorganisations in the region.For that reason the obtaining oflegitimate rights by Palestinianshas become a duty for all of us, towhich everybody should contributeaccording to their owncapabilities, according to the ArabPeace Initiative presented by theKingdom for installing an equitableand lasting peace, based onthe restitution of occupied Araband Palestinian territories, especiallyEast Jerusalem, in exchangefor a full and complete peace. All I can still add is this: the Kingdom is confident about thefuture and asks its partners, Romania being one of its trustypartners, to give the greatest attentionto stability and to keeping it. The entire world, not only the Middle East, is troubled by a deepand unprecedented state of instabilitythat will negatively influencenot only our region, but almost theentire globe. For all those reasonswe must cope with it together.