This Saudi National Day is a special one. It is the 90th anniversary of the kingdom. There is more though as Riyadh takes over this year’s presidency of the G20 — a fitting coronation of nine decades of great milestones in the history of the kingdom and in recognition of its leading regional and international role.
For 90 years, since the unification of the kingdom by King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud to the reign of King Salman, with the assistance of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has been an example of relentless progress and the bedrock of stability in the Arab world.
Saudi Arabia represents the cornerstone of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the most successful Arab block in the past 4 decades, which brought Gulf peoples closer to unity today than at any time in our history
Saudi diplomacy succeeded in steering the Arab world towards stability during the most tumultuous times since the establishment of the third kingdom in 1930. It played the role of the firefighter in many crises and conflicts in the region such as the Lebanon civil war, which Riyadh was key in ending and reaching a new Lebanese charter in 1990, the Liberation of Kuwait in 1991 from the invasion of Saddam’s Iraq, the sectarian conflict in Iraq in 2006 and several unity agreements between the different Palestinian factions, which the kingdom hosted at different critical junctions of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
With the regional security in mind, Saudi Arabia intervened, along with the Arab coalition, which includes the UAE, in Yemen following the rebellion of the Iran-backed Al Houthi militias that overthrew the legitimate government in late 2014. More than 85 per cent of Yemeni territories have been liberated and today Riyadh leads international efforts to bring about a political settlement to the conflict to restore the legitimate government and reunite the country.
Saudi Arabia also represents the cornerstone of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the most successful Arab block in the past 4 decades, which brought Gulf peoples closer to unity today than at any time in our history.
This year’s celebration coincides with another milestone as the kingdom assume the presidency of the 2020 summit of the Group of Twenty (G20), the leading international forum for global cooperation, especially in economic and political questions vital for today’s world.
In a message to the group’s leaders, King Salman noted that Riyadh will work hard to ensure its presidency of the group helps “create a cooperative environment for the G20 to introduce policies and initiatives that will fulfil the hopes of the people of the world.”
The coronavirus pandemic and its devastating economic fallouts across the world will naturally be the centre of discussions in the summit, to be held on 21-22 November. As president of the group, Saudi Arabia will lead the international efforts to fight the pandemic, ensure a speedy development of vaccines and address the economic woes of the world, especially the most vulnerable countries.
The Saudi march towards modernising society and developing a future economy, that is no longer dependent on oil, has been the focus of the leadership in the past 5 years. However, that never distracted the kingdom from continuing to play its natural roles as leader of the Arab and Muslim world.