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
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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.”


Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

Riyadh hosts the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum in April with its focus on investment opportunities in the urban heritage. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2018
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Riyadh to host forum to observe World Heritage Day next year

  • Forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage
  • Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage hosts the forum each year in a different part of the Kingdom

RIYADH: The Saudi capital will host the sixth National Urban Heritage Forum (NUHF) next April to coincide with World Heritage Day, with its focus on investment opportunities in urban heritage.

“The four-day National Built Heritage Forum will be launched in Riyadh on April 15,” said Majed Alshadeed, a spokesman for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), on Thursday, adding that the forum will culminate on April 18, World Heritage Day. World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18 with the aim of preserving the human heritage and recognizing the efforts of the relevant organizations in the field.

Organized by SCTH under the umbrella of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cultural Heritage Program, the 6th forum will encourage private investment to capitalize on the country’s rich urban heritage.

The forum will look at developing business models in the management and development of — and investment in — urban heritage sites, as well as the development of crafts and handicrafts.

The heritage forum is organized each year by the SCTH in a different province in collaboration with the relevant governorates, municipalities and local universities, following the recommendations of the first International Conference for Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries, which was held in Riyadh in 2010.

The first session of the NUHF was organized in Makkah province, the second in the Eastern Province, the third in Madinah province, the fourth in Asir province and the fifth in Al-Qassim province.

Next year’s forum seeks to invest the expertise, knowledge and experience that the SCTH has gained and transfer it to the four economic sectors working in urban heritage. These sectors are construction, restoration and contracting, site operation, human resources development, and services and industries related to urban heritage.

The forum will include the distribution of prizes to the projects winning the Prince Sultan bin Salman Urban Heritage Awards, exhibitions, scientific sessions, workshops and business meetings with Saudi and international experts and consultants to discuss investment opportunities in urban heritage. There will also be a specialized expo for companies and institutions working in the sectors of the economics of architectural heritage, restoration and engineering consultancy.