At Makkah summit, Palestinian right to statehood affirmed, Iranian aggression denounced

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Palestine is our main issue until the Palestinians get their rights, King Salman said. (SPA)
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Updated 01 June 2019
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At Makkah summit, Palestinian right to statehood affirmed, Iranian aggression denounced

  • The OIC supported ‘an independent and sovereign Palestinian State’
  • The OIC rejected US decision to relocated its embassy to Jerusalem

MAKKAH: Heads of Islamic countries renewed their commitment to the Palestinian cause, early Saturday at a gathering at Islam’s holiest site, and reiterated the Palestinians’ right to statehood.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) supported the Palestinians to “attain their inalienable national rights, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” said a statement by the organization.

The OIC also rejected any solution that does not secure the Palestinian people’s rights and rejected Washington’s relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem.

“Palestine is our main issue until the Palestinians get their rights,” Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said opening the Islamic summit in Makkah, as throngs of worshippers crowded the Grand Mosque for a key date in the Ramadan calendar.

“We reaffirm our unequivocal rejection of any measures that would prejudice the historical and legal status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif,” the king said referring to the third holiest site in Islam.

We want an integral solution that would preserve the Palestinians’ rights in accordance with the borders of 67, said Jordan’s King Abdullah, in his remarks to the leaders. 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also urged the creation of a Palestinian state within the 67 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. 

Arab and Islamic nations have been attending three summits in two days to discuss regional issues, including a growing threat to Middle East security by Iran.

King Salman also reiterated that efforts must be made to confront terrorism and those who sponsor it. 

The  king put the blame of recent attacks on oil tankers off the UAE coast squarely on Iranian-backed terrorist groups.

“During this holy month, commercial vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were subjected near the UAE's territorial waters to terrorist sabotage. This poses a serious threat to the security and safety of maritime traffic and regional and international security. Also, two oil pump stations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were attacked by drones launched by Iranian-backed terrorist militias,” said the king.

We emphasize that these subversive terrorist acts not only target the Kingdom and the Gulf region, but also the security of navigation and world energy supplies.”

“We hope that the Summit will achieve the aspirations of the Islamic countries for progress, development and prosperity,” the king told leaders and heads of states of 57 countries of the OIC.

 

LIVE COVERAGE (all times KSA)

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Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi called for more work to strengthen solidarity and take a unified Arab and Islamic stand and confront extremism. 

 

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Leader of nations that make up the Organization of Islamic Cooperation arrive in Makkah’s Al-Safa Palace greeted by King Salman.

 

 


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.