RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will strike with an “iron fist” all those who threaten the kingdom’s security, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said yesterday.
“Today, extremism is no longer accepted in Saudi Arabia, and it no longer appears on the surface. It has instead become rejected, disguised and alienated. However, we will continue to face any extremist behaviours and ideas,” the Crown Prince said, in a speech carried by state news agency SPA.
“The kingdom condemns and rejects every terrorist act or practice or action that generates hatred and violence, and is committed to confronting extremist rhetoric and rejecting any attempt to link Islam and terrorism.”
The Crown Prince added: “We threaten all those who think about carrying out a terrorist act or exploiting hate speech, with a deterrent, painful and very severe punishment.”
“Our work today has become pre-emptive, and we will continue to strike with an iron fist against anyone who tries to harm our security and stability.”
The Crown Prince’s warning came after the IS extremist group claimed responsibility for an attack on an event at a non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah at which diplomats from France, Greece, Italy, Britain and the US were in attendance.
At least two people were wounded.
The Crown Prince said that the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) will inject 150 billion riyals annually ($40bn) in the economy in 2021 and 2022.
He added that the fund managed to create higher return of investments at a minimum of seven per cent, from 2pc since its establishment, with some investments exceeding 70pc and others making a return of more than 140pc, adding that it became one of the “key growth drivers” for the Saudi economy.
The Crown Prince also said he was working hard on doubling the size of the kingdom’s economy and diversifying it away from reliance on oil, and that the kingdom made unprecedented achievements in less than four years.
“Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest and most important economies in the world, and we are working hard on doubling the size of the economy and diversifying it...”