King Abdullah’s opening remarks to the Shura Council 2008

March 15, 2008

Opening remarks by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz at the opening session of the Shura Council, Riyadh, March 15, 2008.

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate, Praise be to Allah, His prayer and peace be upon the last Prophet Mohammed.

Dear Brothers:

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you.

With Allah's help, we open the fourth year of the fourth session of the Shoura Council, praying to Almighty Allah to bless our efforts and make our deeds sincere to Him.

Dear Brothers:

I had two choices. The first one is to review with you the achievements of the last period including policies, regulations, programs and projects which are in the interest of the country and citizens. The second one is to talk to you from heart of heart far away from the numbers and accomplishments known by every male and female citizens. This is included in the expanded speech distributed to you.

Dear Brothers:

How best is the time and place for meeting you. Time is one of working days, good giving and appreciation of ideas vibrant with the good, affiliation and nationalism. Meanwhile, place is one of the homeland's houses respecting freedom and recognizing responsibility.

Freedom is in thought and objective and balanced criticism and responsibility is an integrity that has neither exaggeration nor stubbornness. We preserve our freedom, define its characteristics and tell the world that these are our values and noble morals derived from our religion.

I say this to you, affirming that responsible freedom is a right to every pure citizens being in love with the spiritual and material achievements of this homeland. Our homeland will be glorious, dear and superior in a time which has no room for the weak and hesitating persons. Established on the will of God and the determination of great men who jostled shoulder to shoulder behind the leader of their unity King Abdulaziz (May Allah bless their souls) in a march which envious and hateful persons wanted to be a failure, but God wanted to be a glory and victory, this homeland is a field of competition for the honest people for the glory of the nation.

We must surround this country by honorable expressions of love and loyalty. It is our historic experience which we defend and we are proud of it. It is the vision that is proceeding on in its track firmly and strongly among rugged routes that can not impede the souls which are relying on Allah.

Dear Brothers:

Almighty Allah witnesses that I have not hesitated any time to direct severe faithful criticism to myself. This is for fearing the integrity which I shoulder. This integrity is my fate and my responsibility before Almighty Allah, but Allah's mercy is great. I derived from it the determination to see myself.

The soul which directs hard and objective criticism is capable to make this as a strength that downs the wrong and upholds the right.

Let us all remember that we are responsible before Allah, our people and nation, we should always remember this verse: “And indeed We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.”

So, the pride and glory will be with the help of Allah. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.