RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that the region's prosperity requires finding a swift, just and comprehensive solution for the Palestinian issue based on international law and the Arab Peace Initiative. In his speech at the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, Prince Mohammed said that the region's future requires adopting a vision that prioritizes safety, security and prosperity based on mutual trust and appreciation. Meanwhile, Prince Mohammed urged Iran "as a neighbor country" to cooperate with countries of the region in order to achieve that vision "by adhering to international legitimacy principles, avoiding intervention in other countries' internal affairs and cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency."

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated on Saturday Jeddah Security and Development Summit with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states, and the United States, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan attending. In his inaugural speech, the Crown Prince, the Chair of the Summit and the Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, said the region and the world face critical challenges that require intensified cooperation in the framework of the principles of the UN Charter, foremost among which are respect for sovereignty and values of states, non-interference in domestic affairs of others, and respect for the independence and territorial safety of states. Crown Prince Mohammed expressed hope that the current summit would lay the groundwork for a new era of enhanced joint action and strategic partnership. "Profound cooperation between our countries and the United States will serve the common interests, and enhance security and development in this vital region and the entire world," he stressed.

The big challenges facing the world due to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the emerging geopolitical changes require concerted international effort to help the world economy recover, and insure food and health security, he pointed out. "The environmental challenges facing the world, notably the climate change, require strengthened resolve by the international community to keep the temperature of Earth within the limits specified by the Paris Agreement. These challenges need to be addressed through a practical and responsible approach with a view to ensuring sustainable development based on a balanced and sustainable use of energy resources and taking stock of the priorities and conditions of each state," Crown Prince Mohammed stressed. "To adopt unpractical policies for reducing harmful emissions, including the execution of main energy resources without giving due consideration to the socioeconomic effects of such policies, could lead to unprecedented inflation rates in the coming years, send the energy prices and unemployment rates to new highs, and exacerbate the social, economic and security problems such as famine, crime, extremism and terrorism," he warned.

The world economic growth is closely related to making use of the available energy resources, including the hydrocarbons, provided setting controls their emissions through clean energy technologies to reach the target of carbon-neutrality or net-zero by the year 2050, he noted. In its economic development plan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia follows a balanced approach to keeping the energy supplies and realizing the carbon neutrality target based on carbon recycling economy. This plan aims to ensure economic diversification without affecting the economic growth or the supply chains. It also aims to address the carbon emissions through Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative in collaboration with regional and international actors, Crown Prince Mohammed went on. He stressed the need to continue pumping investment into the fossil energy and clean energy technologies over the coming couple of decades to meet the world demand, allay the concerns of investors regarding the new policies, and guard against any interruptions in energy supplies which could hamper economic growth.

"As part of its role in this regard, the Kingdom increased its oil output capacity to 13 million bpd, but beyond this level it would overstretch its resources," Crown Prince Mohammed made clear. He highlighted the need of a clear-cut vision for security, stability and prosperity based on mutual respect among the countries of the region, closer cultural and social relations and joint action to address the security, economic and political challenges.

Regarding the relations with neighboring Iran, Crown Prince Mohammed said there are religious and cultural ties between our countries and Iran, calling on the Islamic country to be part of that vision through commitment to international legitimacy and non-interference in the domestic affairs of others. He urged Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and meet its obligations in this regard. On Yemen, he said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia backed all efforts aiming to restore security and stability in the country and reach an intra-Yemeni political solution based on the three points of reference. The Kingdom continues effort to augment the current truce and offer humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, he affirmed.

Regarding Palestine, he said stability and prosperity in the Middle East require speeding up effort to reach a fair and comprehensive solution based on international legitimacy and the Arab initiative for peace. Crown Prince Mohammed hailed the recent improvement of the security situation in Iraq, saying this improvement will impact positively on Iraq's relations with its Arab neighbors. He lauded the agreements on power grid hookup between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and among the GCC countries, noting that similar agreements are in the offing between Saudi Arabia, on one hand, and Egypt and Jordan, on the other. Crown Prince Mohammed expressed hope that the current Summit will send an upbeat message of a bright future for the youth of the region, realize their aspirations and shed light on "our noble values."