Mohammed bin Salman sends powerful message on regional unity with Qatar as part of it
RIYADH, October 24, 2018 – Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman shared the stage with the Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri and Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa at the three-day Future Investment Initiative Summit in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Addressing a full house of about 2,000 guests, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman began his speech sharing the pain over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey earlier this month. “This was a very, very painful incident for all Saudis and everybody else on the planet. It was unnecessary,” he said as he assured the public of a fair joint investigation with Turkey to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The crown prince emphatically said that no effort to create any divide between Turkey and Saudi Arabia would succeed and that the kingdom had made huge and swift strides in strengthening national security in the wake of current events. “A lot of people are trying to seize this painful situation to create a rift between Saudi Arabia and Turkey,” he said. “I want to send them a message: you will never be able to do so as long as there is a king named Salman bin Abdulaziz, a crown prince named Mohammed bin Salman and a president of Turkey named Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”
Underscoring the massive economic potential of Saudi Arabia in particular, and the GCC region in general, the crown prince envisioned the Middle East as “a new Europe” in the near future. Delivering a powerful message on regional unity, he said, “Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and even Qatar – regardless of our differences with it – that has a strong economy, will look completely different in about five years.” He also mentioned Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq in this regard.
The crown prince drummed up enthusiasm among Saudis, praising their determination. “We live among a great people. Once they have set a goal, the Saudi people will achieve it – no obstacle is too great for them. All mega projects are ongoing. Our war on religious extremism is ongoing. Our war on terror is ongoing.”
The energising speech immediately struck a chord with the audience who broke out in loud applause.
The crown prince praised Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who was one of the royal delegates in attendance, for the phenomenal achievements Dubai had made under his leadership, as he projected him as a regional role model.
Bahraini crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa urged investors to put in money in Saudi Arabia, justifying that investing in the Kingdom would strengthen the economy of the entire region. Saad Hariri also pledged his full support for the Kingdom’s economic vision and mission.
“Any growth in Saudi Arabia, any reform in the kingdom, and any success is contagious for the region,” the Bahraini crown prince said.