Organization of Islamic Cooperation urges all Afghan factions to join the peace process

OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, second right, and Afghan Deputy Foreigner Minister Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha, third right, during the OIC meeting in Jeddah. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Organization of Islamic Cooperation urges all Afghan factions to join the peace process

  • Saudi Arabia provides economic and humanitarian aid as well as other means of assistance to help in Afghanistan
  • The insurgents are fighting under the name of jihad and they have lost the base of their fighting because Saudi Arabia and the highest authorities in the Islamic world have condemned it

JEDDAH: Afghanistan has witnessed terrorist acts and bombings that go against the teachings of the Islamic Shariah, said Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Zuhair bin Mohammed Al-Idrisi.
“The situation (in Afghanistan) required an intervention from the OIC and efforts made by Saudi Arabia under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman. Today this meeting has been set by Saudi Arabia’s efforts to explore means of implementing this decision,” said Al-Adrisi at a meeting of OIC permanent representatives on supporting peace and stability in Afghanistan, held in the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on Tuesday.
Al-Adrisi said that the first step was the International Ulema Conference on peace and security in Afghanistan, which was held in the Kingdom in July and resulted in a call for an end to violence in the country, saying fighting between Muslims was strictly prohibited in Islam.
King Salman told the ulema during that conference that Saudis had lived through the Afghanistan crisis and shared the suffering of the Afghan people from the beginning of this conflict, which resulted in civil war.
“Saudi Arabia provides economic and humanitarian aid as well as other means of assistance to help in Afghanistan,” Al-Adrisi continued.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha said: “The conflict in Afghanistan does not have only domestic or internal aspects; it has regional and international aspects too. There are countries that are right now unfortunately supporting the Taliban, giving them sanctuary. Our message is that prolonging support for terrorists and extremists, as history has shown, cannot be beneficial to any country. The foreign policy should not be based on supporting enemies and terrorists from other countries, especially for neighboring countries.
“That is why it is taking longer because when the Taliban retreats when they are beaten on the battleground, they move to neighboring countries and get treatment at the hospitals. Their families are there. I think that is the reason it’s prolonged, otherwise, a terrorist insurgent group which all the world has condemned does not have support to continue the war. So the idea of coming to this kind of forum is to bring international pressure, especially from Islamic countries, over those countries to end their support for the terrorists.”
Andisha believes the first step would be for the countries who have larger influence over the Taliban to bring them to the peace negotiation table.
“The insurgents are fighting under the name of jihad and they have lost the base of their fighting because Saudi Arabia and the highest authorities in the Islamic world have condemned it,” he said. “They don’t have a base, but now it is our job to take this message of solidarity of the Islamic world to the local people, to the villages of Afghanistan, to tell them that this war is devoid of any Islamic ideology and religious support.
“The problems we have within our own region have adversely affected the unity of the Islamic nations and have an adverse affect in Afghanistan, because if some countries have their own problems on a regional level it makes their cooperation very difficult,” he concluded.
Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the OIC, stressed how important it was for the Afghan government to crystallize what it considers appropriate to establish sustainable peace, security and reconciliation among the segments of the Afghan people. This was part of his statement at the meeting, held at the request of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Othaimeen noted that the OIC is following with interest the efforts of Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan, in calling upon the Taliban to engage in peace talks.
He urged OIC member states to harness their diplomatic influence to bring all factions in Afghanistan to the negotiating table.


Array of national day activities delight Saudis and visitors

Updated 22 September 2018
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Array of national day activities delight Saudis and visitors

  • Special events will also take place throughout Jeddah where residents and visitors can visit the various parks, public squares, waterfront and beaches to get into the celebratory spirit.
  • Saudi flags and green billboards, often bearing the face of King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed, have gone up across Riyadh this week, and at night skyscrapers are flooded in green light — the national color.

JEDDAH: There’s excitement all over the Kingdom as Saudi Arabia gears up to celebrate the 88th Saudi National Day, with citizens and visitors thronging through Jeddah to enjoy the various celebrations where art and patriotism meet. The national day’s events will feature 3D light shows on the façade of the Ritz-Carlton at the new waterfront in Jeddah, displaying images of the nation’s founders and fountains dancing to Saudi music.
Special events will also take place throughout Jeddah where residents and visitors can visit the various parks, public squares, waterfront and beaches to get into the celebratory spirit. Saudi flags and green billboards, often bearing the face of King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed, have gone up across Riyadh this week, and at night skyscrapers are flooded in green light — the national color.
Various governmental and private organizations are also celebrating the occasion throughout the governorate, its streets, main roads and public facilities by hanging flags and signs carrying national meanings and values that strengthen love, loyalty and the sense of belonging to this dear homeland.
The National Day will also be celebrated on Jeddah waterfront with myriad activities ranging from folklore shows, art crafts, and a national art exhibition to family activities, laser shows and fireworks. Other events include using the latest light technology on water screens, showcasing the Kingdom’s images from the time of the founder until the present. 3D lights will also illuminate the surrounding buildings and unique waterfront.
A four-day event is to be held in Old Jeddah to mark Saudi National Day, with activities aiming to highlight the most important historical monuments through displaying activities related to the Kingdom’s unification. Historical Jeddah is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.