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Tue 10 Mar 2015 09:11 PM

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Saudi king orders review in new corruption crackdown

King Salman said he would fight corruption, diversify the economy and confront anybody who challenged the stability of the world's top oil exporter in his first big speech since taking power on January 23.

Saudi king orders review in new corruption crackdown

Saudi Arabia's King Salman said he would fight corruption,
diversify the economy and confront anybody who challenged the stability of the
world's top oil exporter in his first big speech since taking power on January 23.

His speech,
carried on state television, focused on the need to create private sector jobs
for young Saudis, a main policy goal for many years as Riyadh strives to meet a
looming demographic challenge while controlling public spending.

Addressing the
chaos threatening the kingdom from around the region, he said no one would be
allowed to tamper with Saudi Arabia's security or stability.

He said Saudi
foreign policy would be committed to the teachings of Islam and spoke of a move
towards greater Arab and Islamic unity to face shared threats, as well as a
continued focus on working with other countries against terrorism.

He also pledged
to maintain the kingdom's Sharia Islamic law, emphasising its central place in
the kingdom, in a nod to the powerful clerical establishment that confers
religious legitimacy on the unelected ruling dynasty.

Salman also
reassured Saudis about lower oil prices, noting the historically high revenues
of recent years and saying the government would reduce the impact on
development projects and continue to explore for oil and gas reserves.

Addressing
himself to young Saudis of both sexes, he said the state would do all it could
to help develop their education, sending them to prestigious universities, to
help them get jobs in either the public or private sector.

King Salman
added that he had directed the government to review its processes to help
eradicate corruption, a source of dissatisfaction among many Saudis, alongside
concerns about expensive housing and joblessness.

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