OIC reacts to the US announcement of Jerusalem as capital of Israel

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Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Dr. Maher Karaki (right), Palestinian Authority's permanent representative to the OIC. (AN photo)
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Mahmud Asadi, Palestinian consul general in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 07 December 2017

OIC reacts to the US announcement of Jerusalem as capital of Israel

JEDDAH: The Israeli occupation of Palestinian and the Arab territories is a core issue for the whole world including the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); therefore, the general secretariat expressed its anger regarding Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The organization expressed its rejection of the decision, which undermines the political, legal and historical status of Jerusalem, a clear violation of international laws and resolutions, and a departure from the international consensus on the status of Jerusalem, and the requirements of peace in general, thus undermining the American role as a sponsor of the peace process.

The organization stressed it will convene an extraordinary summit for leaders of OIC member states in Istanbul on December 12 and 13 to discuss the repercussions of the American decision, and to formulate a unified Islamic position on this dangerous escalation.

The Palestinian issue remains the most prominent political challenge at both the regional and international levels. Israel, the occupying power, persists in defying the will of the international community through its forceful occupation of Palestine and the Arab territories since June 4, 1967, violating international conventions and UN resolutions.

The secretary-general of the organization, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, in a speech he gave on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, expressed the organization’s deep regret over the declaration of the US administration to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of its embassy to it, stressing that the organization strongly condemns any steps or actions which contribute to changing the legal and historical status of Jerusalem.

“This decision violates the rights of the Palestinian people, and violates the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly regarding the Palestinian issue, and undermines the efforts to push forward the peace process and the chances of realizing the vision of a two-state solution,” he said.

The OIC stressed its commitment to working with the representatives of the international community to confront this irresponsible decision and to support Arab and international efforts to achieve peace based on the vision of a two-state solution, and to reestablish the State of Palestine with its capital Jerusalem and end the Israeli occupation.

Mahmoud Al-Asadi, consul general of the State of Palestine in Jeddah, said: “Allah has forever painted the historical relationship between the Muslims and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem was and will always remain the eternal Arab Islamic capital of the State of Palestine.”

He told Arab News: “On December 6, Donald Trump the president of the United States, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel … However, this decision, which he has taken does not make any difference because our right in Jerusalem is a clear and fixed right.”

He added: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine.”

Saudi Arabia seeks to bridge cultural gaps with South Korea

Updated 1 min 34 sec ago

Saudi Arabia seeks to bridge cultural gaps with South Korea

  • Seoul welcomed historical visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the country in 21 years
  • A grand cultural exhibition, part of Saudi's global cultural campaign titled “Bridges to Seoul,” to held for Koreans

SEOUL: A unique cultural festival filled with the music and dance of Saudi Arabia were attracting South Korean visitors at the heart of Seoul Thursday.
The festival is Saudi Arabia’s global cultural campaign titled “Bridges to Seoul” organized by the King Abdualaziz Center for World Culture marking the historical visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the country in 21 years.
“This Saudi Arabian cultural exhibition is the first in Asia,” Kim Hee-joo, a staffer for Ithra, told Arab News. “This main objective of this campaign is to promote Saudi Arabian cultures in South Korea, many of whose people are still unfamiliar with Saudi cultures despite the close relationship between the two governments.”
The exhibition, which runs from June 24 to July 3, is being held at the convention center of Grand Hilton Seoul. The exhibition offers an opportunity for South Koreans to experience the richness of Saudi culture and heritage.
Visitors can to try on Saudi costumes and accessories  for photo sessions and get their Saudi Arabian names written in Arabic script.
“We’re happy to share Saudi cultures with South Koreans. This is a great opportunity for introducing our cultures to South Koreans and bridging cultural gaps between the two countries,” said Muhammed alduhaim at the photo costume booth.
South Korean visitors were enjoying the exhibition with great interest.
“When you talk about Saudi Arabia here, many people including me just think of desert extremely hot weather and something like that,” Choi Bok-nam, 55, said. “However, I’m impressed to see beautiful flower and get to know Saudi’s weather conditions vary after seeing pictures displayed here. I want to travel to Saudi next time.”
For some elder men, who had been in Saudi Arabia for work, the exhibition offered a chance to reminiscent of the old days in Saudi.
“I had worked at Saudi Arabia as an engineer for a year about 30 years ago,” Lim Joo-hwan, 64, said. “This event makes me reminisce about the days in Saudi, and actually I’ve learned new aspects of Saudi cultures here though I lived there just for a year.”
Joo Duk-choon, 76, was fascinated by Taif roses and products made from the local flower.
“I had little knowledge of Saudi Arabia. I thought Saudi was just an oil-rich nation.” he said.
Hanan, 29, from Saudi Arabia said there still need to be communications programs to spread Saudi cultures to South Korea.
“I think South Koreans don’t know about Saudi Arabia as much as Saudi Arabians know about Korea,” said Hannah, who have studied at a Korean university for international studies. “Young generation in Saudi Arabia know much about Korean hallyu (the Korean wave of pop culture), dramas, cultures, but I feel Saudi Arabia doesn’t enough media and stories they can tell to South Koreans.”
She hoped the crown prince’s latest visit to South Korea would be a turning point for getting ever closer between the people of Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
“I feel like the crown prince has made a lot of changes in Saudi, especially for women, media and culture, so I think it’s changing a lot,” she added.
Prince Mohammed spearheads the Vision 2030 economic reform plan aimed at diversifying the Kingdom’s oil dependent economic structure to other industry fields, such as culture and tourism as well as information and communications technology and new sources of energy like hydrogen.