Al-Sabhan is appointed minister of state for the Gulf region

Ambassador Thamer Al-Sabhan
Updated 17 October 2016

Al-Sabhan is appointed minister of state for the Gulf region

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has appointed Thamer Al-Sabhan minister of state for the Gulf region. 
Al-Sabhan left his position as the Saudi ambassador to Iraq after exerting efforts to support the Iraqi people and delivering Saudi humanitarian aid to some Iraqi villages. 
Al-Sabhan’s new assignment was announced in a royal decree issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, and carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Sunday.
The royal decree read: “In accordance with the system of ministers, deputy ministers and government employees in excellent grades issued by a royal decree No. M/10 dated 18/3/1391, and in accordance with the royal decree No. A/14 dated 3/3/1414, we order the appointment of Thamer bin Sabhan bin Al-Sabhan as minister of state for the Gulf region in the excellent grade at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Second: the competent body will be notified to adopt the decision and for its enforcement.” 
The diplomat had earlier claimed that Iranian-backed Shiite militias were plotting to assassinate him through members of “Mourtadha Abboud Ellami” group at the behest of “Abu Mahdi Al-Mouhandis” and the leaders of “Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq,” and especially the groups led by Akram Al-Kaabi.
After the failed assassination plots against the Saudi ambassador, Aws Al-Khafaji, a leader of one of the Shiite factions, the Abu Al-Fadl Al-Abbas militia, said in TV remarks that Al-Sabhan’s hostility toward Iraq is clear and that the militia does not want him to stay in Iraq.
In his Twitter account, Al-Sabhan hoped that Abdul Aziz Al-Shimari would succeed in his new position as Saudi charge d'affaires in Baghdad.
Sadaqa Fadil, a senior member of the Shoura Council, said the former Saudi ambassador to Iraq has succeeded in enhancing the Saudi policy in Iraq. Al-Sabhan had an effective role that troubled the Iranian influences in this Arab country.
Speaking to Arab News, Sadaqa Fadil confirmed that the Kingdom will not change its policy in Iraq. Saudi Arabia will continue to support the Iraqi people, while the decision of removing ambassadors doesn’t always mean changing foreign policy toward the country.

Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

Updated 54 min 33 sec ago

Muslim World League signs deal with Moscow to promote interfaith dialogue

  • Al-Issa lauds Russian model of national harmony and coexistence
  • Al-Issa also met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament last month

MOSCOW: The Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa held a meeting with the president of the Russian People’s Council, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, and other council members, where they discussed issues of common interest.

They looked into means of boosting cooperation between Russia and the Muslim world, supporting positive national integration programs and countering extremist speeches and Islamophobia.

Al-Issa lauded the Russian model of national harmony and coexistence, while Ordzhonikidze presented Al-Issa with a copy of the council’s yearly report.

At the meeting the two parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to share their experiences in the fight against extremist ideologies, the promotion of interreligious dialogue and coexistence and the implementation of joint projects to achieve shared goals. They also stressed the pure and peaceful values of Islam and rejected all forms of extremism and Islamophobia.

The meeting was attended by the Russian deputy chairman of the Committee for the Development of Agriculture, Aygun Memedov, the chairman of the Committee on the Normalization of Relations Between Nationalities and Religions, Sheikh Albert Karganov, the Mufti of Moscow and the Khanti-Mansisk Region in Siberia Sheikh Tahir Samatov.

Last month, Al-Issa met with Speaker of the Russian Parliament Vyacheslav Volodin. They discussed subjects related to promoting and supporting dialogue among followers of different religions and civilizations, activating cultural contacts and exchanges between the Muslim world and Russia.

Al-Issa signed a cooperation agreement between the MWL and Moscow’s Fund for Islamic Culture, Science and Education. The agreement focused on tackling extremism and promoting tolerance. The agreement stressed the need for cooperation in the fight against extremism, intolerance, aggression and hostility among religions, races and ideologies that could lead to terrorism.

Both parties agreed to exchange information on the activities of scientific centers, cultural forums and websites.