Author: RASHID HASSAN & RODOLFO C. ESTIMO JR.Sat, 2017-12-23 03:00ID: 1513979337964194500
RIYADH: The third anniversary of King Salman’s accession to the throne was marked by hope and optimism as congratulations poured in from senior Saudi officials and foreign dignitaries.
Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah congratulated the Saudi monarch and noted the Kingdom’s achievements under his leadership.
Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa wished his Saudi counterpart good health and happiness, as well as further progress and prosperity for the government and people of Saudi Arabia. King Hamad stressed the strong ties between the two countries and their peoples.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised Saudi achievements under King Salman, and expressed appreciation for his role in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Abbas said he values the king’s sincere efforts and support to the Palestinian people and their just cause for freedom and an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah congratulated the king on behalf of all health sector staff.
“In this bright era, the Kingdom is witnessing comprehensive dynamic development in all walks of life, which is having a positive impact on providing an honorable living to Saudis,” said Al-Rabiah.
He added that King Salman has paid special attention to the health sector due to his interest in Saudis’ health and safety.
Qassim Gov. Prince Faisal bin Mishal congratulated the king on the country’s domestic and foreign policy achievements during his reign.
The Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) and Mobily offered free local calls on Thursday to mark the third anniversary of King Salman’s accession to the throne.
Dr. Mohsin Shaikh Al-Hassan, an Islamic scholar, author and TV host, told Arab News that the king “has made history. He has become an important figure not only in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and the Arab world, but also internationally. He has played a key role in making peace prevail.”
Al-Hassan added: “In his era, we Saudis feel very strong, confident and happy. Many things that weren’t allowed in the Kingdom are now allowed for everyone, such as movie theaters, and women being allowed to attend football matches and drive. We’re also expecting women to become ministers, which is great.”
Khalil Aljehani, managing partner at Aljehani Law Firm, told Arab News: “Saudis are happy over King Salman’s third anniversary as monarch. With the reforms he has initiated, he evokes optimism, which heralds a better future for Saudi society and future generations.”
Aljehani added: “We Saudis wish him and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continuous good health to provide steady leadership at the helm of government.”
Dr. Saleh Al-Sultan, owner and chairman of SAS for Economic Consulting, told Arab News: “King Salman has done much during the three years since he ascended the throne. He has initiated measures to streamline the Saudi economy.”
The pace of Saudization has been stepped up to generate employment opportunities for both men and women, Al-Sultan added.
“King Salman has given equal opportunities to women, who now enjoy what used to be for Saudi men only, such as being members of the Shoura Council,” he said.
“They’ve become partners in national development, and he has issued a decree allowing women to drive starting from June 2018.”
Besides seeing to it that his citizens are taken care of, the king is also helping countries in need such as Yemen, Syria and Palestine via the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Al-Sultan added.
The monarch has also improved Saudi relations with various countries and signed agreements with them, Al-Sultan said.
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