King Salman’s rule, three years on

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia recently announced its largest budget ever. The approved budget, which exceeds 1 trillion SAR, confirmed the path of development and construction. It conveys the ability to stop relying on oil as a sole resource, in accordance with Vision 2030 that is sponsored by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi kingdom also celebrated three years of King Salman’s rule. In the past three years, the world got to know a new Saudi Arabia – a decisive and determinant Saudi Arabia on both the domestic and foreign levels. The world observed how Saudi Arabia assumed its ordinary place as a major regional state and as an influential state on the international level.

What once was a dream became a tangible reality in only three years. All promises and ambitions took their natural path on the political, economic, military, cultural and social fronts. Changes and reforms have been pursued at a fast pace to develop, build and solidify welfare which is one of the state’s major tasks.

Leading alliances

Saudi Arabia leads military and political alliances, as befits a large country. It leads the Arab coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen. Thanks to this coalition, Yemen is closer to salvation from the Houthi militia and Iran’s followers. There is also the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition which has become a tangible reality following its recent conference in Riyadh.

The Houthi militia has tried to disrupt Saudi Arabia’s celebrations in its historical budget by launching an Iranian-made ballistic missile on South Riyadh. And just like other ballistic missiles which were fired from Yemen towards the kingdom – which are over 80 – this last missile was intercepted by Saudi defense forces before it reached its target.

These ballistic missiles target civilian areas. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley confirmed that the Houthis’ missiles are manufactured by Iran and are not remains of Yemen’s old weapons, as Iran claims. It’s not only Saudi Arabia’s responsibility to condemn these missiles but also the international community’s. Firing these missiles towards civilian areas is a flagrant violation of international law, as recently confirmed by Colonel Turki al-Maliki, the spokesman for the coalition forces.

The international cause being built against Iran is strong and solid, and it requires enough time to mature. In all cases, developments are heading in the direction of fully condemning Iran’s hostile activity – from firing ballistic missiles to sponsoring and supporting sectarianism and terrorism – on the regional and international levels.

Not a day goes by in Saudi Arabia without celebrating something new, such as launching massive investment projects, issuing new rules and regulations, restructuring governmental institutions, developing the entertainment industry, empowering women and allowing them to drive and opening cinemas.

Abdullah Bin Bijad al-Otaibi

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The international cause against the Houthi militia was built before the Decisive Storm Operation was launched. If it hadn’t been for some European countries’ and international institutions’ weak position, the situation would have been resolved a long time ago.

The battle must be finalized by the Yemenis through their unity, national army and popular resistance and with the full support of the Saudi-led alliance. It must be finalized at any price and no matter what the cost is as doing so as quickly as required paves way to restoring security and stability.

Saudi Arabia is thus heading towards building a strong economy, expanding investments, fighting corruption and strengthening welfare. Meanwhile, Iran is heading towards spending more on sectarian militias and terrorist organizations, impoverishing its people and suppressing them and spending its revenues to destroy and sabotage. This reflects a clear vision of how the two countries’ future looks like.

A new Saudi Arabia

Not a day goes by in Saudi Arabia without celebrating something new, such as launching massive investment projects, issuing new rules and regulations, restructuring governmental institutions, developing the entertainment industry, empowering women and allowing them to drive and opening cinemas. There are also countless activities in the media sector and on the cultural level. When citizens realize their ambitions are being fulfilled, their unity, loyalty and sense of belonging solidify.

Entertainment and sports now have independent commissions. All these joyful activities have enhanced tolerance and moderation on all levels. The state has strongly imposed its prestige and its sovereignty is untouchable. The kingdom is moving forward towards a promising future, thanks to its people led by the king and the crown prince who is the godfather of Vision 2030 and the leader of the future. Youths, who constitute over 70% of the Saudi population, are also contributing to this future.

Those who haven’t visited the new Saudi Arabia cannot imagine the size of development, change and reform. History is in the making and no words can fully express the ongoing efforts and successes.

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What’s happening in Saudi Arabia is worthy of becoming a model for the entire world. The recent developments and reforms have begun to yield results that pave way towards achieving Vision 2030. Riyadh has become the capital of investment and renewal, and it’s now the destination of successful and ambitious people.

The Saudi project in the region is the project of moderation and development and of belonging to the future. Meanwhile, there are two competing projects which belong to the past. The first one is the Iranian sectarian project which entails murder, destruction, chaos and violence and the second one is the Turkish-Qatari-Brotherhood project which relies on fundamentalism and spreads extremism. Saudi Arabia relies on plans, successes and the expansion of regional and international relations while the two other rival projects adopt empty slogans and reckless stances.

On the third anniversary of the king’s rule, Saudi Arabia’s success is no longer a mere wish but it’s actually a tangible reality! All researchers have to do is go back to data published by major international organizations to check for themselves. Numbers do not lie and facts are facts.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.

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