Saudi crown prince vows not to allow extremists to tarnish ‘our beautiful religion’

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks at the inaugural session of the IMCTC Ministers of Defense Council in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 27 November 2017
0

Saudi crown prince vows not to allow extremists to tarnish ‘our beautiful religion’

RIYADH: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has vowed that extremists will no longer “tarnish our beautiful religion.”
He was speaking at the opening of the inaugural meeting of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) Ministers of Defense Council in Riyadh on Sunday.
The crown prince said Sunday’s meeting sends “a strong signal that we are going to work together and coordinate together to support each other.”
“The biggest danger of this terrorism and extremism is the tarnishing of the reputation of our beloved religion... We will not allow this to happen,” he said. “Today, we start the pursuit of terrorism and we see its defeat in many facets around the world especially in Muslim countries... We will continue to fight it until we see its defeat.”
The crown prince also offered his condolences to Egypt, which suffered an attack on Friday by militants on a mosque in northern Sinai that killed 305 people.
“This is indeed a painful event and it is a recurrent and strong reminder of the dangers of this terrorism,” he said.
Saudi Arabia announced the alliance in December 2015. The alliance consists of 41 countries and identifies as a “pan-Islamic unified front” against violent extremism.
The IMCTC encompasses an integrated approach to coordinate and unite on the four key domains of ideology, communications, counter-terrorism financing, and military, in order to fight all forms of terrorism and extremism and to effectively join other international security and peacekeeping efforts.
The coalition will develop, collect, shop and disseminate a wide range of information on counterterrorism programs and best techniques embarked on by member nations and international organizations.
Chiefs of staff from Muslim countries met in Riyadh in March 2016, and affirmed “their determination to intensify efforts in fighting terrorism through joint work according to their capabilities, based on the desire of each member country to participate in operations or programs within the IMCTC framework as per its policies and procedures, and without compromising the sovereignty of the Coalition member countries.” 
The IMCTC acts in response to the threat of terrorism that has impacted Muslim and non-Muslim countries and has distorted the image of Islam.
During the meeting, IMCTC Acting Secretary General, Lt. Gen. Abdulelah Al-Saleh, outlined the coalition’s strategy, governance, activities and future plans.
In addition, eminent keynote speakers presented their perspectives on counter terrorism efforts in each of the IMCTC’s four key domains:
Dr. Mohammad Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, introduced the ideology domain, and the necessity of promoting a message that counters the narrative of violent extremist ideology and reaffirms Islamic principles of tolerance and compassion, through presenting the true nature of Islam and supporting ideological, psychological, and social reforms
Dr. Mohammad Al-Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs of Jordan discussed the communications domain, and the importance of producing and disseminating factual, scholarly and engaging content to undermine and counter the appeal of violent extremism.
Dr. Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey, Chairman and Governor of Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, discussed Counter Terrorist Financing and the need to promote best practices and advance legal, regulatory, and operational frameworks in prevention, detection, and seizure operations.
General Raheel Sharif presented the military domain, which aimed to assist in the coordination of resourcing and planning of member country military CT operations; facilitate the secure sharing of military information; and encourage military CT capacity and capability building to ultimately deter aggression and violence.


Saudi Arabia, Indonesia eye trade deals

Updated 25 min 25 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabia, Indonesia eye trade deals

  • Indonesia will now allow domestic workers to again work in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Indonesia will hold their first joint ministerial commission meeting in Jakarta later this week to discuss ways to boost bilateral links, and enhance collaboration on regional and global issues, particularly in the domains of economy, peace, and security. Adel Al-Jubeir will travel to Indonesia to co-chair the meeting from the Saudi side.
“Retno Marsudi, Indonesian foreign minister, will attend the meeting on behalf of Indonesia,” said Arrmanatha Nasir, a spokesman for the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Saturday. This first ministerial meeting on Tuesday, which will focus on broadening relations in diverse sectors, comes after the visit of King Salman to Indonesia in March this year.
Arrmanatha said: “Indonesia will encourage wider market access to export tropical fruit products. This is important to discuss because Saudi Arabia is Indonesia's largest trading partner in the Middle East.”
“In addition, one of the main issues that will be raised is the protection of more than 600,000 Indonesian workers,” he said.
Riyadh and Jakarta have endorsed two major agreements this month.
As per the first agreement signed earlier this month, Indonesia will now allow domestic workers to again work in the Kingdom. The cooperation deal, which covers a number of domestic professions, was signed by Ahmad bin Suleiman Al-Rajhi, minister of labor and social development, and Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri, Indonesian minister of manpower and transmigration, in Jakarta on Oct. 11.
This month, Indonesia also ratified a defense cooperation agreement that it had inked with Saudi Arabia earlier. Indonesia will also be the “guest of honor” country this year at the 33rd Janadriyah Festival, the Saudi celebration of heritage and culture, the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh said on Tuesday. King Salman will patronize the opening ceremony of the festival on Dec. 31.
The Kingdom and Indonesia, the two OIC member nations, has had diplomatic ties since 1950. Indonesia seeks more engagement with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As such, Indonesia is currently proposing to have a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the GCC countries.
According to the Indonesian Ministry of Trade Report, the volume of trade exchange between Indonesia and GCC last year amounted to $10.3 billion. GCC enjoyed a surplus of $3.3 billion mainly on account of its oil and gas exports.