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King Salman Says Strikes Failed to Hurt Kingdom's Development

King Salman Says Strikes Failed to Hurt Kingdom's Development

Wednesday, 20 November, 2019 - 15:30
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrives to address the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 20, 2019. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman struck a defiant note against the kingdom’s enemies, saying on Wednesday that missile and drone strikes it blames on Iran had not halted development and reiterating that Riyadh will not hesitate to defend itself.


In an annual address to the appointed Shura Council, he called again on the international community to stop Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and halt regional intervention, saying it was time to stop the “chaos and destruction” generated by Iran, according to prepared remarks.


He also said the oil policy of the kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, is aimed at promoting market stability.


“Though the kingdom has been subjected to attacks by 286 ballistic missiles and 289 drones, in a way that has not been seen in any other country, that has not affected the kingdom’s development process or the lives of its citizens and residents,” the king told assembled council members, royals, and foreign diplomats.


He praised the ability of state oil giant Saudi Aramco to quickly restore oil production capacity after attacks on its facilities in September which initially cut more than 5% of global supply.


He said Aramco’s response had proven the kingdom’s ability to meet global demand in any shortage, and praised the company’s initial public offering, which began this week, saying it would attract foreign investment and create thousands of jobs.


On Yemen, King Salman said the kingdom seeks a political settlement.


He said he hoped a recent agreement signed in Riyadh between two coalition-backed parties that had fallen out would open the door to broader peace talks.


The King reiterated long-standing support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. SPA later reported Saudi Arabia's total rejection of Washington's statement on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.


US President Donald Trump's administration on Monday abandoned the position held by the United States for four decades that the settlements were "inconsistent with international law".


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