Saudi-founded religious center participates in world peace summit

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Faisal bin Muammar, secretary-general of KAICIID, addresses the conference in Vienna. (KAICIID)
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Faisal bin Muammar, secretary-general of the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), addressed the conference in Vienna. (File/AFP)
Updated 01 May 2019

Saudi-founded religious center participates in world peace summit

  • The second annual session of the summit was organized by the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the International Association for the Defense of Religious Freedom
  • Bin Muammar began his speech by expressing his deep sorrow at recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and Christchurch, New Zealand

VIENNA: An international organization co-founded by Saudi Arabia to promote dialogue between faiths has taken part in a high-profile world peace summit.
Faisal bin Muammar, secretary-general of the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), addressed the opening of the three-day conference in Vienna.
Organized by the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the International Association for the Defense of Religious Freedom, the second annual session of the summit was titled “religion, security and peace: building bridges, promoting inclusiveness and combating hate speech to strengthen the protection of religious minorities, refugees and migrants.”
Bin Muammar began his speech by expressing his deep sorrow at recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and Christchurch, New Zealand. He said the incidents where a dangerous indicator that religious minorities were being increasingly targeted for their beliefs and noted that the world was experiencing a significant growth in attacks and subversive acts targeting places of worship and refugee centers.
The secretary-general pointed to the important work of KAICIID as an interreligious and multicultural intergovernmental organization established in 2012 by Saudi Arabia, Austria and Spain, as well as the Vatican as a founding member and observer.
He said the center acted as a model of sincere commitment to preserving and respecting religious and cultural diversity and its board of directors consisted of nine representatives from the five major religions of the world, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus.
Bin Muammar emphasized efforts to further build interfaith dialogue in Nigeria, Myanmar, the Central African Republic and the Arab region.
He highlighted the center’s support for the Islamic and Jewish Council of Europe, which brought together representatives of Muslim and Jewish communities and said that in building bridges between these two communities they were able to face common challenges.
He also called for mechanisms to enable individuals, leaders and religious institutions to communicate with policymakers and provide them with realistic solutions to tackle hatred and violence against minorities and promote a dialogue aimed at bringing about peaceful coexistence.


King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 21 November 2019

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.