Saudi Arabia to host 2020 G20 summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets Saudi Arabia Minister of State Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf as he arrives for the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 08 July 2017
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Saudi Arabia to host 2020 G20 summit

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will host the G-20 Summit in 2020, said an official statement issued on Saturday at the end of this year’s event in Hamburg, Germany.
“We thank Germany for hosting a successful Hamburg summit, and look forward to meeting again in Argentina in 2018, in Japan in 2019 and in Saudi Arabia in 2020,” AFP quoted the statement as saying.
Under the terms of the revolving presidency, G-20 hosts can set the summit agenda. Germany this year used the opportunity to focus on development partnerships with Africa.
The G-20 is a prestigious forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies, including China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the US and the EU.
Among the first to congratulate Saudi Arabia was Germany’s ambassador to the Kingdom, Dieter W. Haller.
“This is a true reflection of the rising stature of Saudi Arabia on the world stage. I applaud the heads of state behind this significant decision,” he said. “As we’ve seen with the decisions reached at the Hamburg summit, Saudi Arabia is a very important element of global governance.”
The Kingdom is the only Arab country and member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the G-20, so “this is a great honor not just for Saudi Arabia but for the entire Arab world,” Haller added.
It is not just hosting the summit that is significant, but also the G-20 presidency, he said, adding: “It runs for a whole year and culminates in the final summit. Saudi Arabia will be in charge of setting the agenda and organizing the summit of this very important forum.”
Germany is always ready to share its experience in hosting such an event “with our Saudi friends,” Haller said. The Saudi delegation at the Hamburg summit was led by Ibrahim Al-Assaf, minister of state and Cabinet member.
At the summit, Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its stance against terrorism in all forms, saying it is a “crime that targeted the entire world” and poses “one of the most serious threats to world peace and security.”
The Kingdom added that there is a “need to combat and prevent all sources and means of funding terrorism.”
The Saudi delegation said terrorism does not differentiate between religions or ethnic groups, and the responsibility of combating it and extremism lies with the entire international community, as does the promotion of moderation, cooperation and coordination between countries.

— With input from AFP


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 19 July 2019
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

  • The president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Shagaf Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey
  • Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back”

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.