MANAMA: His Majesty King Hamad yesterday thanked Bahrain's people for their stance against terrorism, extremism and foreign intervention.
This has been reflected in the nation's strategy of defence and security "in the next phase of our journey", he said, during his speech opening the fourth session of the third legislative term of the National Assembly.
He stressed that "reform, development and achieving a better life for everyone in this country should remain our constant and paramount goal, never losing sight of it, no matter what the circumstances".
He made his remarks 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, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, at Isa Cultural Centre, where he was earlier welcomed by Parliament Chairman H.E. Dr Khalifa Al Dhahrani and Shura Council Chairman H.E. Ali Saleh Al Saleh.
He stressed that to achieve the right goals "we have practised tolerance and amnesty for all citizens at home or abroad, unconditionally, according to powers acknowledged by the Constitution and the law, in order to start a new page compatible with the National Charter.
"We have invited citizens to express their aspirations and views freely and legally, to exercise their political rights in public, and to form organisations and associations in their interest, and according to the Charter, the Constitution and the law.
"All praise to God who blessed this good Earth with loyal men and women who sincerely appreciate the monumental positive transformations in our country; the national will that God blessed us with has ensured an emphatic victory against any who sought to compromise our values, national unity and security."
His Majesty said that national unity and consensus are fundamental pillars of stability that lead to further development and reform.
"But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah knows, while you know not."