EFFORTS FOR PROGRESS TO CONTINUE: SULTAN QABOOS

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Chairs 5th term of the Council of Oman

Zahid Malik in Oman

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 – Manah—His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Monday presided over the opening of the Council of Oman’s 5th term for 2011 at Hisn Al Shomoukh in the Wilayat of Manah in the A’Dakhiliyah Governorate.

In his speech, the Sultan said, many notable achievements were made during the past phase, and “we are looking forward to a qualitative shift in national work which will be carried out by the Council of Oman during the upcoming period in the light of the expanded powers.

He said, there is no doubt that the challenges are enormous, but we are quite confident that all members of the Council will play their effective role and exert their utmost efforts for the sake of leading their beloved country onwards to greater honour, glory, progress and prosperity, security and stability.

The Sultan asked the members to work relentlessly to ensure the success of plans aimed at consolidating the Sultanate’s economic, social and scientific potential to serve the common interest, and raise the country’s regional and international status and help it achieve its commitments at both local and foreign levels.

He stressed the need for more cooperation and coordination between government departments and the Council of Oman in particular and with private sector, the civil society in general.

He said, “the building of a modern state which we pledged to establish since the first moment of the dawn of the ‘Blessed Renaissance’, required us to exert big efforts in the field of establishing infrastructure which is the pillar and cornerstone of comprehensive development. “The provision of this infrastructure – in all parts of the Sultanate – Praise be to God, has given a big opportunity for construction development in various cities and villages throughout Oman and paved the way for the establishment of many economic, commercial and industrial projects as well as educational, cultural, health and socialinstitutions.”

The Sultan said, Omanis have been, from ancient times, makers of civilization. “They are capable of coping with the challenges of the modern age.”

He said over the past four decades the Omani people were able to realize achievements which still stand as clear evidence that cannot be denied by anybody.

He said: We have always affirmed our continued attention to the development of human resources and we said that these resources take top priority in our plans and programmes. The ultimate goal is the happiness of the individual.”

“As youth are the present and future of the nation we gave them the attention and care they deserve throughout the years of the blessed Renaissance as the government endeavoured to provide them with education, training, qualifications and employment opportunities”, he added promising even more opportunities for the youth.

He said, the construction, economic, commercial and industrial projects established during the past stage in various parts of the Sultanate have absorbed many national workers and the private sector has proved its cooperation in shouldering its responsibility. “We are looking forward to a greater role to be played by the private sector in the future, he said.

The Sultan said, the State’s laws and regulations have guaranteed for every Omani the right to express his opinion and participate with his constructive ideas in enhancing the march of progress by the country in various arenas. However he pointed out that freedom of expression did not mean that any party had the right to force its opinions on others.

“This is how our true religion teaches us,” he emphasised.

He underlined the moderate and tolerant nature of Omani society.

“We affirm the need for these good traits to be instilled in our youth from a young age.

The Sultan said, government work is a matter of trust and responsibility. It should be carried out with total disregard for personal interests and with complete honesty for the service of the community.

He said, the Sultanate has always been known for adopting a clear policy based on cooperation with all in accordance with the firm principles of mutual respect.

Concluding his speech, the Sultan said: We salute and express our appreciation to all dedicated workers from our Omani sons and daughters, wherever they are and whatever responsibilities they bear, and to all those who have helped to create a better future for Oman and raise its status and prestige to new heights, while protecting its gains and for Oman’s security and stability. In particular, we salute our Armed Forces and security services for their sacrifice and selflessness and to them we reaffirm that we shall continue to extend our care and support for the development of their abilities and potential.”

The Sultan prayed: “Our Lord. Make this country peaceful and feed its people with fruits. And be our guide on the straight path.

May God grant our people success. And may God’s peace and mercy be upon us.”