‘We look forward to 2030, Iran looks to 1979’

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Time: June 10, 2018

Manama: Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Khalid Bin Salman has said that while Saudi Arabia is a forward-looking country with a focus on the future through its Vision 2030, Iran remains frozen in the past, in 1979 specifically.

“This clash of visions is the problem with Iran. We have Vision 2030. They have Vision 1979. We want to move the region forward. They want to move the region backwards,” Prince Khalid said at Republican politician Mitt Romney’s annual political retreat, the E2 Summit, in Utah.

“To be able to achieve the Vision 2030 goals, we need a stable region. In Saudi Arabia, our foreign policy serves our domestic politics, which is Vision 2030,” the summit’s Twitter account quoted him as saying.

Saudi Arabia has the potential to keep moving forward into the future thanks to the aptitude and patriotism of its young people.

“Almost 99 per cent of Saudi graduates who studied abroad come back to Saudi Arabia. Saudi people do not love their country because it is modernising. But, they modernise their country because they love it,” he said.

Talking about the inclusiveness of Vision 2030, the ambassador highlighted the significance of the strides that the kingdom is making thanks to its men and women, and compared the time frame with the US.

“The head of our stock exchange is a woman; she was appointed last year. I’m glad to hear NYSE just appointed a woman for the first time last month, which took 226 years. It took us 34 years and we are only 86 years old,” he said.

Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 and the bourse was set up in 1983.

In February last year, Sarah Al Suhaimi made history by becoming the first woman to chair Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul, the largest bourse in the Middle East.

In the US, Stacey Cunningham, on May 25, became the 67th president of the New York Stock Exchange, the first in its 226-year history.

Prince Khalid said he was proud to have trained and fought alongside Americans, adding that he was now proud to represent Saudi Arabia as its ambassador to the US and to support the strong relations between the two countries.

Prince Khalid was named Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US in April 2017.

A former F-15 pilot with nearly 1,000 flying hours under his belt, the Columbus Air Force Base graduate carried out air missions against Daesh as part of the international coalition’s efforts.

This article was first published in Gulf News

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