Kingdom slams ISIS as destructive terror group

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Updated 21 June 2014
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Kingdom slams ISIS as destructive terror group

Saudi Arabia has dismissed accusations from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki that it supports terrorist groups in Iraq as "ludicrous."
Addressing a press conference in Jeddah at the end of the 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal took a dig at Al-Maliki. “Those allegations are not from Iraq but Al-Maliki,” he said.
He blamed Al-Maliki’s sectarian policies for the crisis in Iraq.
“We have unequivocally condemned the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) as a terrorist group,” said Prince Saud. “ISIS does not represent the will of the Iraqi people.”
Responding to a question from Arab News that some people see the events in Iraq as a people’s revolution, he said: “We don’t see ISIS as revolutionaries. They found the space to operate in Iraq because of the policies of the (Al-Maliki) government that divided Iraqis, treated them unequally, subjugated and terrorized them.”
Prince Saud said the Iraqi prime minister indulged in politics of vengeance and behaved in a dictatorial way by consolidating power in his office. “This is what led to the presumption that this is a people’s revolt,” he said.
Al-Maliki’s politics of hate “led to the breaking of the will of the security forces in meeting the challenge of the terrorists,” he said. “ISIS is a terror organization. It is not a savior, but a destroyer of Iraq,” said Prince Saud. He said the Kingdom was "opposed to all militias" from whatever sect.
He said no one has suffered more than Saudi Arabia from terrorism. “We fought a successful battle against them,” he said. “Therefore, those allegations (from Al-Maliki) are ludicrous,” he said.
The final declaration of the OIC meeting on Thursday did not specifically mention Iraq, but called on all Islamic countries to unite against sectarian politics. “(These) exclusionary sectarian policies have led to the emergence of sedition pervading the political arena and creating chaos,” the declaration stated. “They (have) endangered peace, stability and the sovereignty of many states and are not easy to overcome.”
The OIC called on member states to not discriminate between various factions on ethnic or other grounds.
The OIC rejected the presidential elections in Syria. “They contravene the Geneva Communiqué which called for the establishment of a transitional governing body to supervise constitutional reforms, leading to free and fair elections to revive the political process and involve all Syrian parties,” the final declaration stated.
The OIC stated that the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces was the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.


MBS award ‘will build Saudi-Sino cultural bridges’

Updated 58 min 40 sec ago
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MBS award ‘will build Saudi-Sino cultural bridges’

ARAB NEWS BEIJING: Leading academics and literary talents from Saudi Arabia and China will be honored under an award scheme sponsored by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan announced the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Award for Cultural Cooperation between the Kingdom and China during a visit to King Abdul Aziz Public Library at Peking University in Beijing on Thursday.
The announcement was made on the eve of the Saudi crown prince’s visit to China, the latest stop on an Asian tour.
The cultural cooperation award will honor leading academics, translators and high-achievers from the Kingdom and China in the categories: Best scientific research in Arabic, best artistic work, best Chinese-Arabic book translation and vice versa, person of the year, and most influential person of the year in the cultural milieu.
Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan said: “This partnership is in the name of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and represents the common commitment to build cultural bridges between the two countries, developing cultural exchange, and promoting artistic and academic opportunities for our citizens.”
He said the yearly award will promote language, literature, and Arabic and creative arts in China, and encourage cultural exchange.
The Kingdom and China have a long history of cultural cooperation, including the annual Arabic Arts Festival.
The King Abdul Aziz Public Library at Peking University was inaugurated in 2017 during King Salman’s official visit to China, where he received an honorary doctorate degree.