RIYADH: King Salman in his speech at the Arab-Islamic-American Summit said Trump’s effective participation in the summit reflects his keenness on enhancing cooperation and coordinate stances in various fields.
“The meeting significantly shows that our 55 Arab and Islamic countries attending the summit today, with a population exceeding 1.5 billion, are an important partner in fighting the forces of extremism and terrorism and achieving world peace, security and stability,” said the king.
All participants share noble feelings in terms of constructive cooperation to renounce extremism and work on countering terrorism in all its forms, drying up its sources, and stopping all means of financing and disseminating terrorism, he added.
Praising Trump’s visit as the beginning of a new partnership between the Arab and Muslims worlds and the US, the king said the meeting aims to encourage all participating countries to take rapid steps to promote genuine partnership with the US in a way that serves “our common interests and contributes to achieving security, peace and development for all mankind, which is confirmed by our Islamic religion.”
He added: “Due to our responsibility before Allah, and then before our peoples and the world, we have to stand united to fight the forces of evil and extremism whatever their source, in compliance with the orders of our true Islamic religion. Islam was, and will remain, the religion of mercy, tolerance and coexistence, which were confirmed by clear examples.”
In its heyday, Islam provided the best examples of interreligious and intercultural coexistence and harmony, the king said.
Tehran spearheads global terrorism
King Salman condemned “attempts to exploit Islam as a cover for political purposes that fuel hatred, extremism, terrorism, and religious and sectarian conflicts. The Iranian regime and its affiliated groups and organizations such as Hezbollah and the Houthis, as well as ISIS (Daesh) and Al-Qaeda and others, are clear examples.
“The Iranian regime has spearheaded global terrorism since the Khomeini revolution until today. For 300 years, we in this country did not witness terrorism or extremism until the Khomeini revolution emerged in 1979.
“Iran has rejected initiatives of good neighborhood provided by our countries based on good faith. Iran replaced these initiatives with expansionist ambitions, criminal practices, interference in the internal affairs of other countries, flagrant violations of international law, and violations of the principles of good neighborliness, coexistence and mutual respect.
“The Iranian regime erroneously thought that our silence was a sign of weakness and our wisdom a retreat. We have had enough of its hostile practices and interventions, as we have seen in Yemen and other countries in the region.”
But “we confirm, at the same time, our appreciation of and respect to the Iranian people, who will not be blamed for the crimes of their regime.”
Counterterrorism and drying out financial resources
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states concluded Sunday arrangements with the US to take firm measures against terror financing, including establishing a center in Riyadh.
“We would never be lenient in sending to justice whoever finances or supports terrorism in any form,” King Salman said, reaffirming his determination to wipe out Daesh and other terrorist organizations regardless of their religion, sect or thought.
“This is why we have formed the Islamic Military Alliance, considered a pioneering step to besiege terrorism. Terrorism is a result of extremism. Amid the need to confront it, we announce today the launch of the International Center for Combating Extremism, a measure aimed, in collaboration with peace-loving countries and international organizations, at spreading the principles of moderation, confronting attempts to lure juniors, vaccinating families and societies against deviant thought, and waging a fierce war against the weak logic and controversy of terrorists,” he said.
Rooting out terrorism will not be achieved by direct confrontation alone, but also via sustainable development, he said, adding that Saudi Arabia is keen to invest in youths, empower women, diversify the economy and develop education.
The king said achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace is a just and necessary quest that requires joint sacrifices and sincere determination.
He called on the international community to intensify efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis, achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people and preserve their country’s unity and sovereignty.