MoU signed to promote ‘culture of moderation’ in Saudi Arabia

A memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Center for Moderation and the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques in Jeddah on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 19 March 2019
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MoU signed to promote ‘culture of moderation’ in Saudi Arabia

  • Effective use of media pledged to counter extremism

JEDDAH: A memorandum of cooperation was signed on Sunday in Jeddah between the Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Center for Moderation at King Abdul Aziz University and the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques to promote a culture of moderation and the combating of terrorism, extremism, and racism.
The document was signed in the presence of Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.
The agreement was co-signed by Dr. Abdulrahman Obaid Al-Youbi, president of KAU and chairman of the center, and Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
Under the agreement, he two parties will cooperate to organize and support awareness-raising media campaigns for promoting a culture of moderation and renouncing extremism, violence, and intolerance of all forms, in addition to through social media campaigns.
The memorandum of cooperation includes a number of objectives aimed at mainstreaming the approach of moderation in society, combating extremist and terrorist ideologies, and enhancing intellectual awareness through conducting joint scientific research and applied and field studies on mainstreaming the approach of moderation, developing intellectual awareness and protecting society from extremism.
The two parties will cooperate under the memorandum in exchanging experiences and information on conferences and forums for moderation and protecting against extremism, developing cultural and awareness-raising programs and activities, such as panel discussion, lectures, seminars, competitions, forums, festivals and sports activities, and providing joint training workshops and programs in the field of moderation and combating extremism.
In addition, the two parties will support and promote moderation programs and activities within their respective spheres of interest, provide technical programs to promote moderate ideologies, and support the implementation of programs and follow up to ensure achievement of their objectives.
Dr. Hassan bin Yahya Al-Manakhra, president of the Prince Khalid Al-Faisal Center for Moderation, said that it is keen to sign agreements with bodies that are active in society, especially in the field of moderate ideologies, such as the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
“The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques is concerned with the holiest places associated with Islam, the religion from which we take our Shariah, teachings and moderate approach and ideology,” he said.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.