Muslim World League, Vatican to set up permanent liaison body

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Pope Francis meets Muhammad al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, at the Vatican, Wednesday, on Sept. 20, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
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Pope Francis greets Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, during a meeting at the Vatican on September 20, 2017. (Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters)
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Pope Francis poses with Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, and members of theirs staff during a meeting at the Vatican on September 20, 2017. (Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters)
Updated 26 September 2017
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Muslim World League, Vatican to set up permanent liaison body

JEDDAH: Following his meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican City, Muslim World League (MWL) Secretary-General Mohammed Al-Issa met with the head of the Pontifical Council of the Vatican, Cardinal Jean-Laurent Tauran.
The latter meeting was held in the presence of the secretary of the Council of Archbishops, Miguel Isosu, and Archbishop Khalid Akasha.
The meeting established a permanent liaison committee between the Vatican, represented by the Pontifical Council, and the MWL, to discuss various initiatives.
Tauran welcomed Al-Issa and his accompanying delegation, and said the meeting with the pope opened a new chapter of friendship and cooperation between the Vatican and the Islamic world in the face of global challenges and risks.
Al-Issa thanked the Vatican and Tauran, and expressed appreciation for the work undertaken by the Pontifical Council, which he said enhances coexistence and cooperation.
The MWL chief lauded the historic meeting with the pope, and his rejection of claims that Islam is linked to extremism and terrorism. Al-Issa said no religion espouses extremism, but none is free from extremist elements.
He said the MWL has communicated and cooperated with the Vatican via the Pontifical Council in all areas to achieve common goals, notably the spread of peace and harmony.
The MWL delegation visited the headquarters of the Community of Sant’Egidio, an international Catholic organization based in Rome.
The president and secretary of the dialogue committee briefed Al-Issa on the humanitarian work carried out by the organization inside and outside Italy.
The president expressed pleasure over the MWL’s historic visit, which he said carries a new vision of peace and coexistence.
He said the Community of Sant’Egidio looks forward to opening new horizons with the East in religious and cultural spheres.
Al-Issa said the MWL is fully prepared to cooperate with the organization in all areas that serve cultural communication. In this context, he called for more cooperation between the two organizations.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 18 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”