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The Saudi Arabians and the G20 Summit - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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All the contradictions came together in Toronto, Canada, where the calm of this beautiful city and the tolerance of its people met with crowds of protestors who were roaming the streets around the site of the G20 summit. The G20 summit was attended by 19 leaders representing their countries which make up approximately 85 percent of the global economy, in addition to the European Union. This is a summit that blends together both politics and economics; a summit that strengthens the role and importance of the emerging countries that have become an important part of the solution to the stormy financial crisis that affected the entire world.

Of course the G20 agenda includes a number of issues, from concern over world poverty to political crises, including the Iranian file, as well as cracking down upon international banks and banking by implementing a bank tax, and also [discussing] the importance of government’s continuing domestic expenditure, and warning against the over-exaggerated rationalization with regards to local economies.

Of course what is important for the Arabs is that they are being represented by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, who to his credit navigated his country to a safe port during the stormy financial crisis. At the same time that the Americans are calling for the G20 leaders not to cut their domestic spending in order to support their economies, and are warning against the dangers of spending cuts on economic development, King Abdullah previously publicly announced at last year’s G20 summit in London that his country would continue its domestic expenditure in order to ensure sustainable development. King Abdullah announced that Saudi Arabia would not cut domestic expenditure or delay domestic projects, which is something that boosted confidence in Saudi Arabia’s economy, and protected its development.

Therefore, of course, Saudi Arabia today is unconcerned with implementing a bank tax, as it did not provide [financial] assistance to banks against the backdrop of what happened in America and Europe. Therefore there is no need for Saudi Arabia to collect tax on this [financial] assistance, rather all that Saudi Arabia did – under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques – was to oil the wheels of its economy with accounted for money, allowing the Saudi Arabian economy to continue developing without having to face real difficulties.

Washington has regained confidence in itself, after some American writers who were previously pessimistic came out to say that Washington once again represents the successful model of how to lead the global economy, especially after America led the process of providing [financial] support to its troubled domestic financial institutes, and also embarked upon domestic financial reform. However we must also credit Saudi Arabia’s success in avoiding the global financial crisis; it did not act in an impatient manner during this crisis, but rather continued its domestic expenditure, as explained above, and continued to finance its domestic projects, and to improve the lives of its people by financing facilities vital to the country, from education to the judiciary, as well as financing infrastructure projects, and large economic enterprises. Therefore Saudi Arabia protected it’s economy’s stability, with a rationality equivalent to Riyadh’s political rationality, that would also be among the world’s top twenty.

Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that works silently away from rabble-rousing or emotional fanfare, whether this is political or emotional. This is for a simple reason, which is that achievements do not require noise so much as they require hard work and rationality in order to guarantee future results, whether this is in the short-term or long-term.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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