By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Vice Chairperson Cho Kyung-hee, Editor Sung Jung-wook
In a special message presented to The Korea Post media for publication on the occasion of the 89th Anniversary of the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 18, 2019, Ambassador Almubaraky stated, “Crown Prince Mohammed and President Moon stressed the importance of Saudi-Korea relations and showed high expectations toward economic projects between the two countries and Seoul's involvement in Saudi's Vision 2030 program.” (See full text of speech by Ambassador Almubraky at the end of this report.)Ambassador Riyad A. Almubaraky in Seoul said, “Last June, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, paid a historical state visit to the Republic of Korea and met with President Moon Jae-in.”
According to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia is the birth place of the Islam Religion and is playing a pivotal role as the spiritual center of the 1.7 billion Muslim believers in all parts of the world.
Saudi Arabia a country of uncontested geopolitical importance in the world bridging Asia, Europe and Africa and has performed the role of an indispensible bridge of the East and West exchanges.Saudi Arabia is also the world’s largest oil exporting country and the only member of the G20 Group of the world in the Middle East playing a pivotal role in the international political and economic activities and interaction.
Dating back to the end of the United Silla Kingdom Period (AD 676-935) and the Early Gyoryeo Period (918년~1392), Saudi Arabian merchants accounted for the majority of more than 40,000 foreign residents in the Kaesong area north of the DMZ. Presence of the Saudi Arabia and other Islam people in Korea is even recorded in Joseon Wangjo Sillok (Chronicles of the Korean Royal Kingdoms), where even King Sejong of the Joseon Dynasty (inventor of the Hangeul Korean alphabet) heard the citing of the Quran. Thus, Korea and Saudi Arabia have a very important historical link of relations.
Saudi Arabia declared Vision 2030 in April 2016 for the diversification of industry away from dependence on oil and Korea was selected as one of the primary cooperation countries of the world for Saudi Arabia, which provided still another important momentum for upgrading bilateral cooperation and relations.
Following the formal signing of diplomatic relations in 1962, Saudi Arabia played a pivotal role as an important bridge for Korea to start Korea’s active participation in the first-phase construction projects of the Middle East in the 1970-80 period. Even today, many people in Saudi Arabia remember the excellent work performed by the Korean entrepreneurs and workers in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle EastWhen the Republic of Korea underwent difficult times during the Korean War (1950-3), Saudi Arabia is known to have given important material support to the ROK.
In October 2017, Korea and Saudi Arabia opened a Korea-Saudi Arabia Joint Committee and decided on a total of 40 cooperative projects in five different fields for the implementation of the Vision 2030 projects. The two countries are now fully cooperating with each other for these projects.
The twenty-third day of September 1932 was a glorious day in our history where the founding King Abdul Aziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud had unified the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With such precious national occasion every year, we celebrate and remember with pride, appreciation and dignity, the efforts and sacrifices made by the founding King and his sons, the Kings who came after him, and who followed his approach in building,
developing and serving the Kingdom and its people.
Full text of Special Statement by Ambassador Almubraky of Saudi Arabia:
This year we celebrate the 89th Anniversary, while the Kingdom continues the process of development and modernization in all fields, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and the trustworthy Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz. The Kingdom is experiencing a qualitative renaissance despite regional and international developments and challenges.
In recognition of the leadership's keenness to invest all national resources to serve the country and its citizens, the Kingdom's "Vision 2030" was announced, with its national contents, development and future plans, to diversify sources of income, increase efficiency of government performance, and to modernize regulations and administrative structure. Marking the beginning of a new phase of development and the hard work for better future, “Vision 2030” aims to keep up with developed countries, to achieve a comprehensive development, to employ the Kingdom's potentials and its energy, by taking advantage of the Kingdom's strategic location, while adhering to the genuine faith of Islam and preserving the genuineness of our society and its principles.
Moreover, the Kingdom is one of the largest countries supporting the humanitarian and relief work in the world, aware of the importance of alleviating human suffering and ensuring a decent life for those who are vulnerable and needy. The foreign aid provided by the Kingdom during the last two decades amounted to more than 84.7 billion US dollars.The Kingdom plays a key role in maintaining security and stability in the region, and it enjoys a regional, Arab, Islamic and international status, while playing an active and influential role in international decision-making, and its continuous pursuit for international peace and security.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to praise the strategic, friendly, and cooperative relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Korea, which dates back to 1962. Through a long history, the two countries have witnessed a qualitative leap and great development in many fields, including politics, military, economy, education, culture, and health.
Crown Prince Mohammed and President Moon stressed the importance of Saudi-Korea relations and showed high expectations toward economic projects between the two countries and Seoul's involvement in Saudi's Vision 2030 program.Last June, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid a historical state visit to the Republic of Korea and met President Moon Jae-in.
During his two-day visit, he showed his keen interest in Korean companies by meeting with chiefs of Korea's top conglomerates.
The Crown Prince described ties with Korea as a "relationship of brotherhood," emphasizing Korea is a strategic partner of the Kingdom not only in economic area but also in politics, technology, security, and defense area.
The two countries signed memorandums of understanding on increasing cooperation between the governments and private sectors, which will open broader chance of cooperation.
Both leaders of the two friendly countries have common interest and desire to strengthening relations and developing cooperation to achieve, promote and serve the common interests of both countries and their peoples and contribute to regional security, stability and world peace.The Saudi-Korean bilateral relations are a model of relations among nations, where they have often coincided with common positions on various international events, bilateral coordination, mutual understanding and mutual support in international bodies and organizations.
I sincerely wish our two countries and the two friendly peoples continued prosperity, security and stability.