RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reinforced its determination to confront extremism and hate speech in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand, which left 50 people dead.
During its weekly meeting, chaired by King Salman, the Saudi Cabinet called on the international community to take a tough stance against those who tried to spread hate, extremism and violence.
The Council of Ministers expressed its deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the Christchurch attack and also the people and government of New Zealand.
The meeting, held at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, went on to discuss the Kingdom’s participation in the third Brussels Conference to support the future of Syria and the region, reported the SPA. The Cabinet also reviewed the talks that took place to discuss areas of Saudi-EU cooperation over the security, stability and unity of Syria.
Ministers referred to Saudi Arabia’s attendance at the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, and stressed the Kingdoms’ determination to continue its efforts in protecting and promoting human rights.
Ambassador Al-Wasil told the UN that this is not the first incident of its kind, but rather, it is part of a series of racist and ethnic events that are "nourished by a culture of hatred, racism, violence, terrorism, extremism and the culture of Islamophobia against minorities, diverse races and immigrants in some countries."
Al-Wasil added that the terrorist incident in New Zealand confirms that terrorism has no religion, no race and is rejected by humanity as a whole. We must unite and stand together to fight the hatred and extremism that cause the killing of innocents, he said.
He pointed out that there is tolerance in some countries with hate speech in the political and media platforms, as they come in the context of freedom of opinion and expression, while such speeches fuel racist tendencies against religious minorities and migrants in their countries, fuel extremist tendencies and increase the tension against Muslims and immigrants and other minorities.
The Kingdom called upon all states to stop all extremist voices and enact laws and policies calling for tolerance and acceptance of other differences and civilizations within the framework of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.
In other business, the Cabinet commended US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for pledging continued American backing for the Saudi-led coalition to support the legitimate government of Yemen and for the Kingdom’s efforts to assist the Yemenis against Iranian intervention.
The Council of Ministers then authorized the Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan to draft a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with his Russian counterpart for cooperation between the two countries on cultural matters and approved the go ahead for discussions and the signing of a similar MoU with UNESCO.
Approval for an MoU on bilateral cooperation in the field of intellectual property between the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property and the US Patent and Trademark Office was agreed along with an MoU for cooperation and exchange of news between the Saudi Press Agency and the Cuban state news agency Prensa Latina.