OIC foreign ministers meet to discuss Israeli actions in Al-Quds

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Al-Assaf, center, chairs the expanded extraordinary meeting of the executive committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 18 July 2019

OIC foreign ministers meet to discuss Israeli actions in Al-Quds

JEDDAH: The expanded extraordinary meeting of the executive committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was held at the headquarters of OIC in Jeddah on Wednesday to discuss the Israeli violations in Al-Quds Al-Sharif, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Al-Assaf.

Addressing the opening session, OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen thanked the host country, led by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for facilitating the holding of this meeting at this critical time.

Al-Othaimeen said that the meeting comes in light of the escalation of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing Al-Quds city, concealing its monuments, attempting to change its legal, historical and political status and isolating it from its Palestinian surroundings, citing the repeated Israeli attacks targeting Al-Aqsa Mosque, including the closure of its gates.

The executive committee of the special meeting issued a final statement, which reads as follows: “The Executive Committee at its Extraordinary Open-ended Meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers held at the headquarters of the OIC General Secretariat in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 to consider the escalation of the Israeli colonial violations in an attempt to change the historical and legal status of the Holy City of Al-Quds.”

In its statement, the committee expressed its concern at the continued attempts to change the historical and legal status of the occupied city of Al-Quds and the transfer of the diplomatic missions of some states to it, condemning any positions, actions and decisions being aimed at changing the status of the occupied city of the holy city.

In its strongest terms, the OIC Executive Committee condemned the escalation by Israel of its colonial actions in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and its attempts to alter the character and demographic composition of the city, including its recent attempt to falsify historical facts and its opening of the so-called “Jewish Pilgrims Route,” which extends from Birket Silwan to the Wall of Al-Buraq under Palestinian homes in the town of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is a clear violation of international law and relevant international resolutions.


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

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