HM the King Opens Third Session of the Third Legislative Term
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa patronised today, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, the opening of the third session of the third legislative term.
Upon arrival at the Isa Cultural Centre, HM the King was welcomed by the Representatives and Shura Councils Speakers. Then, the national anthem was played.
After that, HM the King headed to the Grand Conference Hall where some Holy Quran verses were recited.
Then, HM King Hamad delivered the following keynote speech:
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful)
Grace be to God and peace be upon His Messenger, and upon the family, companions and followers of His messenger
Brothers and sisters, Honorable members of the National Assembly
Peace and God's blessings be upon you
It gives us great pleasure and satisfaction to inaugurate with you today the third session of the third legislative term of the honorable National Assembly.
The new session marks the beginning of a new year of your earnest efforts anticipated by all of us as you carry out your noble mission to address and discuss all issues and matters of interest to the nation and to the citizens and put them in their legal framework.
Thus, you contribute to our collective endeavour to achieve the development and progress of our beloved homeland, Bahrain, and to enable every citizen to live in security and dignity.
We would also like to emphasize that the successful implementation of the recommendations of the National Dialogue constitutes a crucial landmark in the progress or our forward-looking movement to consecrate the one-family spirit within our society.
The views in various political, socio-economic and human rights areas reflect a genuine patriotic wish to usher in a new stage of progress in this beloved homeland and to stimulate it to attain the position it rightly deserves among the world's nations and peoples.
Within this framework, we look with appreciation at the determined efforts exerted by the Government, the House of Representatives and the Shura Council to implement all the recommendations, in cooperation with the various competent parties.
The efforts have resulted in the endorsement of significant constitutional amendments that supported the recommendations and turned them into a reality on the ground that consecrated democracy and boosted transparency, human rights and freedom of expression in the Kingdom, in line with the spirit of the National Action Charter for comprehensive and continuous reforms.
The recent United Nations' endorsement of the Bahrain Report on Human Rights and of its implementation of the recommendations put forth by member countries of the Human Rights Council in Geneva as well as Bahrain's new membership in the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee confirm the trust of the international community in the Kingdom's capacity to fulfill its international obligations.
We appreciate in this context the efforts of HE the Minister of Human Rights and all those who participated in accomplishing this genuine national achievement that emanated from their strong feelings for their homeland and community.
Alongside the efforts exerted to implement the recommendations of the National Dialogue and in a complementary move, efforts are being applied to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry whose formation we decreed and whose members we granted the necessary privileges and immunities.
In this regard, we commend the meetings being held by the honorable Government with political societies in the country and we emphasize that the door for dialogue is open to everybody in a manner that seeks to achieve full harmony within our community and to unify efforts to build on Bahrain's achievements.
It gives me pleasure in this context to laud the excellent constructive efforts being exerted by our dear uncle HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, who is leading the executive authority in the Kingdom with wisdom and aptitude.
We also express our appreciation of the great efforts that reflect the ambitious aspiring spirit of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, and which contribute to our collective endeavors for further development and progress for our beloved country.
Appreciation is also due to our brave armed forces who constitute the protective shield and trustworthy fortress to defend and protect the motherland. We thank the Interior Ministry and all its officers and personnel for their contributions in terms of security efforts and humanitarian and civilized performances that we as well as everybody else appreciate.
Brothers and sisters, members of the National Assembly,
In an age characterized by crises and fast-paced and successive transformations, be they political or economic, with impacts and repercussions across the whole world, our Gulf region has faced throughout the past three decades numerous challenges.
We have confronted them with determination through unified positions reflected in the pioneering role of the Gulf Cooperation Council and we seek with the help of God to strengthen the unity between its member states.
In this regard, we would like to welcome the upcoming 33rd GCC Summit to be convened in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We look forward to meeting our brothers, their majesties and highnesses the leaders of the GCC countries in their second home, Bahrain.
We express our gratitude and appreciation for the generous economic support the Council provides to the Kingdom of Bahrain that will contribute to reinvigorating the economy and implementing numerous major vital projects in various fields.
We will remain always keen on extending our hands of peace and genuine cooperation with all nations and peoples.
At the same time, we express the pain and anguish felt by our peaceful people and their suffering from a misled category of people who have attempted to distort Bahrain's image abroad and to enlist support from those who are not concerned in order to interfere in our domestic affairs.
We stress our resolute rejection of any foreign interference in our domestic affairs. We also reject the dangerous escalation by that group of people on our streets and the acts of violence and terrorism against public and private properties and residents.
It is our duty to protect them from any form of violence in this beloved country.
We had never anticipated that democracy could be exploited to make demands through violence and terrorism. We have always emphasized that demands should not be made by forceful violence but rather through dialogue and national consensus as had happened in the past between the various segments of our community. No group can impose its views on the others.
Hence, we hope that your honorable Assembly will consider enacting the required legal texts that criminalize anything that attempts to erode the unity of our nation and the security of our community.
As for the Arab scene, we will remain committed to defending our legitimate Arab causes and rights, particularly the establishment of the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
We do hope for an end to bloodshed in Arab lands and everywhere, especially in Syria within any frame of general accord and respect of human rights and peoples' willpower.
Brothers and sisters, members of the National Assembly,
We appreciate the efforts of the honorable Government in addressing the comprehensive development plans and vital matters related to the everyday lives of the citizens as well as in ensuring security and stability in the country, maintaining a low unemployment rate and cooperating with your esteemed Assembly.
We urge you in this new legislative term to exert more efforts in order to fulfill our great ambitions for the sake of the honorable citizens by contributing to keeping up the growth of the economy and comprehensive development, the diversification of national revenue resources, the enhancement of performance and productivity and working with the state for the sake of youths, the assets of the future.
In conclusion, we would like at this important era in our beloved country to express our utmost gratitude and appreciation to all members of the National Assembly for their sincere patriotic performance for the benefit of all citizens.
The Kingdom of Bahrain, thanks to everybody's cooperation, will remain prosperous and strong with its free determination.
We pray Allah Almighty to provide us with guidance and to grant success to everybody in everything that pleases Him and that provides welfare to our citizens, country and nation. He is the surest guarantor and most capable of that.
(Verse from the Holy Quran: Say: Work and Allah, His Messenger and the believers observe your work)
God's prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammed and upon all of his kinfolk and companions.
Peace and God's blessing be upon you.)
After that, the Representatives Council Speaker Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Dhahrani delivered a statement in which he took pride in extending, on behalf of himself and members of the Representatives and Shura councils, sincere thanks and gratitude to HM the King for patronizing the session.
Al Dharani affirmed that that the success of the national action march and increase of landmark achievements would not have been possible without the on-going cooperation and coordination with the government, led by HRH Premier, and support of HRH Crown Prince, pledging that HM the King's sound directives, embedded in his keynote address to the National Assembly, will be beacons for enhancing national unity and meeting the citizens' expectations.
He also extended congratulations to HM the King for endorsing the constitutional amendments whose implementation will usher a new era of legislative and auditing work that adds to the King's pioneering Reform Project and meet the visions of the National Consensus Dialogue.
The Parliament Speaker also affirmed that HM the King's wise dealing with the recent crisis that gripped the kingdom through his successive initiatives and measures taken have helped the kingdom overcome the repercussions, safeguarded national security and stability, enriched Bahrain's rich political and legal record and earned international acclaim, citing the approval of the Kingdom's human rights report by the UN Human Rights Council.
He also said that members of the two councils are aware of the national duties entrusted to them and pledge that the National Assembly will always reflect the citizens' will and remain a guarantor of the kingdom's social stability and a monument of peaceful democratic practices that supports national interests and fundamentals and is committed to the legitimacy of the ruling system and its institutions, as well as the supremacy of the law.
He also took pride in the dialogue and consensus, the kingdom's distinctive features per excellence, anchored by the forefathers and consolidated within the tightly-knit one-family Bahraini society, stressing that they should be used to address all crises and a bridge to open up new horizons.
He also pointed out that national interests should be prioritized, expressing the Parliament's loyalty to HM the King and total support for the renaissance and progress the kingdom is witnessing during HM's prosperous era.
He also wished HM the King continuous good health and happiness and the kingdom further progress, stability and prosperity under his wise leadership.
Then, those present greeted HM the King, HRH Premier and HRH Crown Prince.
Senior Ruling Family members, BDF Commander-in-Chief, scholars, clerics, judges, ministers, MPs, governors, businessmen, under-secretaries, municipal councillors, diplomatic corps, heads of political associations, senior BDF, Interior Ministry and National Guard officers, editors-in-chief of local newspapers and representatives of international news agencies.