Do the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the neighboring Arab Gulf countries still need to prove the extent of the massive transformation and development they have attained throughout the decades? I will focus on Saudi Arabia, my country, which was recently attacked by the Lebanese Foreign Minister in the caretaker government, Charbel Wahba.
First and foremost, I will tell him that Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries enjoy unparalleled security since their establishment by their founder, the unifier, King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud – may he rest in peace. He was succeeded by his sons and by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Security and stability are invaluable factors and the foundations of this country, thank God, which your country has been missing for decades and until this day. Throughout its history, Saudi Arabia has contributed to resolving the political differences and maintaining the stability of Lebanon.
The Taif Agreement is one example among other initiatives and efforts. We have also provided financial assistance for decades, and supported the stability of brotherly Lebanon, until there was a state within a state, with the emergence of Iranian-backed Hezbollah, arriving at the state of affairs in Lebanon today, which requires no elucidation.
We say to the minister, who labeled the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia as "Bedouins," among other things, this is not an insult and detracts nothing from us. On the contrary, it is a civilization and culture. Look what these "Bedouins" have done.
How much is the Saudi Riyal worth compared to the Lebanese Pound? What is the unemployment rate? What is the inflation rate? What is the volume of domestic and foreign investments? How many scholars are there in our country compared to the immigrants and the displaced in Lebanon? What is the volume of the government economic spending? How many airports do you have? How many ports? What is the level of the infrastructure? What is your country's international influence? How much is the average income? Even tourism in Saudi Arabia is moving to become the first in the region as a whole.
Despite all the advantages of Lebanon, what is the rate of economic growth? Dozens of financial indicators put Saudi Arabia today among the G20, the biggest economies in the world. This is achieved not just through oil. Under the leadership of Mohammed bin Salman, who launched Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has evolved to become more capable and economically more robust in the face of future challenges, to achieve income diversification, and become a major, sustainable economy.
Saudi Arabia does not need to prove anything, Your Excellency the Minister. The Bedouin heritage is a part of our culture and lives. One hand carries science, knowledge, management, security, stability, economic growth, and work, while the other hand clings to this earth and its desert and its culture, of which we are proud of.
As for Lebanon, a country hijacked by Hezbollah and the mullahs of Iran, the economic reality, before the political and social ones, speaks for itself… We are witnessing a great tragedy every day in Lebanon, and can only wish future prosperity and stability for the Lebanese people.
This article was originally published in, and translated from, Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh.