King Abdullah speaks to “Al-Siyasah” newspaper

December 29, 2009

The 30th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Kuwait re-confirmed the solidarity between GCC member states, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz said during a recent interview with a Kuwaiti newspaper. Speaking to Ahmed Al-Jarallah, editor-in-chief of “Al-Siyasah,” the King noted that many vital projects were approved during the summit, which will serve the economic and developmental interests of the entire region. Noting the successes of the European Union, King Abdullah envisioned an even closer bond between the states of the Arab Gulf. “I aspire to see the track of the GCC states, which are united by religion and language and even dialect, fare much better than the European Union’s track, he said, adding that agreements on a joint currency and interconnected electricity and water grids mark the beginning of a new phase in GCC relations. “If we do not have solidarity,” he warned, “it will be easy for others to exploit us.”

Turning to the topic of the terrorists who attempted to infiltrate the Kingdom from Yemen last month, King Abdullah thanked God for the defeat of the enemy fighters, declaring, that the infiltrators have been repelled.  Praising the Saudi military, he made it clear that Saudi troops were careful to remain inside the borders of the Kingdom and never infringed upon the sovereignty of Yemen.

Asked about the impact of the global financial crisis on the GCC states, King Abdullah replied, “The Saudi economy is fine, and the impact left on it by the global financial crisis has been limited . . . Our budget last year was higher than the previous one in spite of the world financial crisis and this year it is better than the last year.”

Finally, the King discussed the flooding that occurred in Jeddah last month that resulted in over 100 deaths. “Investigations are still underway to determine who was responsible for this disaster,” he said. “I was disturbed by what happened in Jeddah. We should be prepared to confront the floods and prevent any damage from their effects . . . The Jeddah floods have revealed what we should do to improve the infrastructures in Jeddah and other Saudi cities.”