Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the second deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia, confirmed that efforts will continue in earnest to bring about the reform sought by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Prince Muqrin asserted that the recent royal decree paving the way for women to participate in the Shura Council comes within the context of a wider push for reform. This is in addition to the establishment of a national anti-corruption body, the development of judicial systems, and the introduction of councils and bodies to regulate and improve the oil and economy sectors. Prince Muqrin believed that any impartial observer would realize the extent of efforts that have been exerted in all areas during the era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, spanning from scholarship programs to the increased opening of universities, with heavy impetus placed on the education and health sectors.
The second deputy prime minister also elaborated on his own personal drive for greater electronic exchange of information between government departments. According to Prince Muqrin, this will be a comprehensive and integrated service as citizens cannot get the full benefit through one ministry alone, but rather through the exchange and communication of information between various ministries and government sectors, which will benefit everyone. He added, It is important that this electronic information exchange is linked to the needs of the citizens in various fields. We are living in an age where the pace of technological development is accelerating and we can only respond to this. He expressed his high hopes of making significant strides in this area in the future.
Prince Muqrin believed he had received an esteemed royal vote of confidence with his appointment as second deputy prime minister, and felt overwhelmed with happiness and pride as a result. He stressed that this confidence is precious and comes with great responsibility, and so he has asked God to help him to bear it and perform to the best of his ability to please God, his king, and his country, especially his beloved citizens.
The second deputy prime minister also pointed out that he will carry out his duties in line with the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, namely giving the citizens the bulk of his attention and prioritizing the development of the homeland. He added that people will always have hopes and aspirations, and for a Saudi leader the major ambition should be for the country to access the ranks of the great powers, and for its people to achieve all their desires in the fields of health, education, the economy and so on.
Prince Muqrin Bin Abdulaziz has already served in several state roles, beginning his career as a pilot in the Saudi Royal Air Force in the 1970s and reaching the rank of head of plans and operations division. In 1980 he was appointed as emir of Hail province in northern Saudi Arabia, then as emir of Medina in 1999. At the end of 2005 he was appointed as head of Saudi Arabia’s general intelligence service before becoming a special royal adviser and envoy to King Abdullah in mid-2012. On 1 February 2013, a royal decree was passed announcing Prince Muqrin as the second deputy prime minister.