His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa opened, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the second session of the sixth Legislative Term of the Shura Council and the Council of Representatives.
HM King Hamad was welcomed by Ahmed bin Salman Al Musallam, Speaker of the Council of Representatives, and Ali bin Saleh Al Saleh, Shura Council Chairman, on arrival at the Isa Cultural Centre.
The National anthem was played and verses of the Holy Quran were recited.
Then, HM the King delivered the following keynote speech:
” In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful
Praise be to Allah and prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Mohammed and his family and companions,
Distinguished Brothers and Sisters, Members of the National Assembly,
May the peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you,
We are pleased to open the second session of the National Assembly in its current term, looking forward with you to a fruitful session leading to advancement and prosperity in our national action, which is heading, with confidence and resolution, towards further improvement, development, and prosperity.
In this country, which is open to all enlightened thought and opinions, we have documented – together – the most important historical moments and positions, and we have been able, in line with the higher interests of Bahrain, to drive reform and modernisation, independently without any external influence, to meet our common goals and aspirations, according to what was unanimously agreed upon by the national will.
It is important that our Bahraini society, which is known for its civilised awareness and independent decisions, continues to preserve its gains and to stand united against everything that undermines its unity and stability, with sincere faith and the values of human coexistence.
By the grace of Allah, and thanks to this national awareness, our country keeps its head held high, no matter how severe the challenges, which are overcome at all times through the determination of its people and the solidity of their will, and the continued stability of its constitutional institutions including the judiciary, which is independent in its decisions, and keen to continue reforms and achievements at the judicial and human rights levels.
We are advancing hand in hand, with the same strength and determination, and a patriotic spirit that knows nothing but victory and distinguished statue for the nation of all, the responsibility for which we inherited from the founders of its modern state, who were true in holding their pledge to Allah of assuming their national responsibilities in the best manner. In keeping with our duty of gratitude to them, we will continue to cherish their memory in honour of their contributions, may they rest in peace.
This is an occasion to reiterate our pride in what has been achieved by the legislative institution. We have been keen from the oustet that its development emanates from t the popular will. This proudly unique model will remain independent with your will and enriched with your contributions. We have a lot ahead of us to accomplish with you.
While commending the performance of our National Assembly, we must commend the efforts of the executive branch and its notable keenness to maintain the highest levels of cooperation with the legislative branch. This is a fruitful and constructive cooperation which takes into account the interests of the country and its citizens
We also must note the sincere endeavours of the Government, led and guided by our Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, to achieve national aspirations through a collaborative approach, to maintain Bahrain’s leading position in development, and to maintain its status as a platform for intellectual and civilisational rapprochement among religions and cultures, and as a destination characterised by its heritage and venerable character of its cities and areas.
In this regard, we direct that an action plan be put in place to preserve the historic and cultural identity of the buildings and cities of Bahrain. We will work, in this context, to revive the Isa Al Kabeer Palace; which will be of one of the main headquarters of our work. This will be along with the well-known neighbourhoods in the city of Muharraq, to which we look forward to the return of its people, in honour of the national glory in our nation of generousity and dignity.
In light of the fact that our world listens only to the voice of strong and influential alliances in the process of advancement, our endeavours continue to strengthen relations of rapprochement, integration and coordination of positions on a solid basis of harmony, consultation and fraternal cooperation, under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council and within Arab League. This is something that we have never stopped supporting and serving the interests of, in order to achieve aspirations for the good and advancement of the countries and peoples of the region.
The main cause of Arabs will remain our top priority. The Kingdom of Bahrain maintains a firm position on promoting and supporting comprehensive peace efforts to reach a fair solution to the Palestinian issue, leading to a two-state solution in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative, in a manner that ensures the right of the brotherly Palestinian people in establishing their independent State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Peaceful endeavours and de-escalation are the only options in the face of the current escalation in order to reach the desired solution.
In conclusion, we extend deep appreciation to every sincere national effort working towards driving productivity. We salute and appreciate our valiant armed forces with all their units and servicemen, as they perform their duty with all merit and courage to preserve the sovereignty of our kingdom and its advancement.
The honourable sacrifices of our fallen servicemen in in defence of what is right and the victory of the nation, will forever remain etched in our conscience. We pray to Allah the Almighty to bless their pure souls in paradise..
May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.
The Speaker of the Council of Representatives then delivered a speech in which he extended to HM King Hamad, on behalf of the members of the National Assembly, deepest thanks and gratitude for opening the second session of the Sixth Legislative Term.
He affirmed that the National Assembly will continue consolidating the kingdom’s democratic process and bringing about more development gains for the nation and the citizens in order to achieve the national goals on which the all-inclusive national will had reached consensus, under HM’s wise leadership, in accordance with the independent Bahraini model, while maintaining the unified national stance emanating from the kingdom’s values and fundamentals.
Speaker Al Musallam indicated that the kingdom, under HM the King’s leadership, had always proven its ability to overcome all challenges and emerge stronger and more united, under the state of law and constitutional institutions, including the legislative and executive branches, as well as the independent judiciary and human rights mechanisms.
He pointed out that the legislative branch has, in cooperation with the government, led by HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, enacted many laws and legislations, while following up on the Government Plan, which was unanimously approved by lawmakers to contribute to attaining the expected accomplishments.
He affirmed that joint legislative-executive work will continue to implement all issues on which the two branches had reached while approved the state budget.
Al Musallam emphasised the pivotal role of the legislative branch in contributing to developing the legislative system to support the government plans and development programmes, create a stimulating atmosphere for investments, and achieve the goals of the Economic Recovery Plan and the Fiscal Balance Programme in order to support the national economy, diversify sources of income and generate quality job opportunities, which will contribute to improving the living standards of Bahraini families and society as a whole.
The Speaker affirmed unwavering resolve to continue developing the kingdom’s human rights framework and supporting the national mechanisms, following the issuance of Royal Order 39 of 2023 which advanced the National Institution for Human Rights (NIHR)’s work towards more transparency, independence and neutrality, in accordance with the Paris Principles relating to the status of national human rights institutions, in addition to the success of the implementation of the Alternative Sentencing Law, the Open Prisons Programme and other human rights-supporting programmes and initiatives.
He hailed HM the King’s assertion, in his keynote speech, of the need to preserve the kingdom’s deep-rooted cultural identity, as well as consolidate Arab and Islamic values, lauding HM the King’s directives to revive the Isa Al Kabeer Palace, and adopt it as one of the main work headquarters.
Speaker Al Musallam underlined the legislative branch’s commitment to the royal approach aiming to strengthen the pillars of security and stability, as well as supporting countries and peoples in need, out of human duty, stressing keenness to continue helping brothers and friends, strengthening bilateral relations based on mutual respect, rapprochement and integration, as well as spreading the values and principles of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and progress.
He added that Bahrain’s effective parliamentary diplomacy has contributed to strengthening Bahrain’s position and role, citing the kingdom’s hosting of the 146th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in March 2023, in which HM the King, while addressing world parliamentarians, called for approving an international agreement to criminalise religious, sectarian and racist hate speech in all its forms, as well as promoting peace as the only strategic option towards a more secure and prosperous world.
He reiterated the kingdom’s firm stance in support of the main Arab cause, and backing of efforts aimed at achieving just and comprehensive peace, by asserting the Palestinian people’s right to establish their state, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative.
He praised the kingdom’s wide-ranging achievements attained thanks to HM the King’s care and the follow-up of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
He expressed deepest pride in the distinguished efforts and honourable sacrifices of the brave Bahraini servicemen, praying to Allah the Almighty to rest the souls of fallen servicemen, who lost their lives while carrying out their sacred patriotic duties of defending the homeland.