Riyadh forum aims to promote culture of peace and coexistence

Saudi Arabia seeks to foster a culture of dialogue among people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds to bridge animosities, reduce fear and instill mutual respect. (Shutterstock)
Updated 07 January 2019

Riyadh forum aims to promote culture of peace and coexistence

  • Saudi Arabia aims to promote the use of dialogue to prevent and resolve global conflicts to enhance understanding and cooperation

JEDDAH: People from countries as diverse as Brazil, Japan and the US are among those taking part in a forum promoting coexistence, peace and tolerance.
The “Saudi Salam (peace) Forum” in Riyadh is aimed at forging stronger ties between the Kingdom and the global community.
One of the participants in the two-day event is Brazilian footballer Elton Jose Xavier Gomes, who plays for Saudi club Al-Qadsiah. He has lived in the Kingdom for 10 years and set up a football academy in Brazil called “Al-Saudiya.”
He has previously posted videos of his children singing the Saudi national anthem on Instagram, as well as saying that his son and daughter sing it regularly.
The 32-year-old midfielder will be joined by others who will engage in an honest and public conversation about their time in the Kingdom and living alongside Saudi nationals.
Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaamar, secretary-general of the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), said the forum focused on the important values of coexistence, harmony, compassion and respect for the diversity of Saudi culture.
These were the basis of ties between Saudis and people from different races and religions, including those who contributed to the country’s development and progress, he added.

Moderate society
The forum was part of a wider effort to represent a moderate society in Saudi Arabia, he said, and there will be short films highlighting personal success stories or community-based initiatives for coexistence, as well as town hall-style meetings where nationals and foreigners can share their experiences.
Fahad Al-Sultan, the project’s executive director, was reported by the Saudi Press Agency as saying that the forum would highlight the progress, achievements and efforts the Kingdom has made for the benefit of mankind and world peace.
Saudi Arabia aims to promote the use of dialogue to prevent and resolve global conflicts to enhance understanding and cooperation.
The Kingdom seeks to foster dialogue among people of different faiths and cultures that bridges animosities, reduces fear and instills mutual respect.
Intercultural and interreligious dialogue helps build communities’ resistance against prejudice, strengthens social cohesion, supports conflict prevention and transformation and can serve to preserve peace.
The Kingdom has always supported the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The country is keen to combat all forms of discrimination based on culture, religion or belief by organizing events to overcome stereotypes in a long-term process that leads to a culture of dialogue that enables greater understanding of people of other cultures and followers of other religions.

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 56 min 54 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.