Gulf meeting discusses inclusion, citizenship and rights

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), speaks at the Wilton Park Inclusive Citizenship Dialogues forum in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 14 November 2018
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Gulf meeting discusses inclusion, citizenship and rights

  • Al-Issa called on national integration programs to address segregation, whether educational, religious or ethnic

JEDDAH: The three-day Wilton Park Inclusive Citizenship Dialogues forum began in Abu Dhabi on Monday, gathering religious, intellectual and political figures from across the Middle East.
“It’s wrong to accept from individuals or institutions any justifications that threaten national unity,” said Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL).
“It’s also essential to protect legitimate freedoms, especially ones that promote and support citizenship,” he added.
“We appreciate the concept of national integration ministries in countries of religious and ethnic diversity, but… some of them suffer gaps due to the lack of participation of all national segments in the formulation of their programs,” he said.
“Some of these ministries have a single perspective that they impose on others, which results in accusations of failure or negative bias and racism,” Al-Issa added. “Also, some of these ministries may lack a social presence.”
The media should not be allowed to sacrifice national values, which protect everyone, for the sake of partisan, ideological, ethnic or financial interests, he said.
“Followers of religious and ethnic minorities have sacrificed a lot to show their loyalty to the countries that welcomed them and their parents,” he added.
“But the extremism of the far right came to reinforce prejudices at the expense of those sacrifices and the unity that brings social peace which, if undermined, can threaten the most important pillars of supreme national interest.”
Al-Issa called on national integration programs to address segregation, whether educational, religious or ethnic.


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.