Muslim World League, Patriarchate of Moscow sign cooperation deal

Muslim World League Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa meets Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia Kirill I. (SPA)
Updated 25 July 2019

Muslim World League, Patriarchate of Moscow sign cooperation deal

  • The agreement also rejects all forms of extremism and hatred

MOSCOW: The Muslim World League (MWL) and the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia signed on Wednesday an agreement to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue, as well as a culture of peace and constructive coexistence.

The agreement, which also rejects all forms of extremism and hatred, was co-signed in Moscow by the MWL’s undersecretary of relations and communication, and the head of the Department for External Church Relations.

It was signed in the presence of MWL Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa and Patriarch Kirill I.

The agreement reflects the two sides’ belief in the importance of interreligious dialogue and the role of religious institutions in resolving international conflicts, as well as the desire of Muslims and Christians to promote peaceful and constructive coexistence.

Al-Issa and Kirill I held a historic summit on Wednesday at the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow.

It is considered the largest independent Eastern Orthodox Church, with more than 250 million followers.

The summit, attended by senior religious leaders, included fruitful discussions on issues of mutual interest.

Kirill I said he was “very happy” with Al-Issa’s visit to Russia, noting the significant and enlightened role of the MWL.

“You’re helping many needy people in Asia and Africa, and this is the subject of our deep concern and appreciation,” the patriarch added.

HIGHLIGHT

The agreement covers cooperation between cultures and civilizations; promoting peace and human rights; improving societies’ ethics, academic communication and information exchange; religious minority issues in crisis situations; and media-related matters.

“Owing to your personal contribution to the MWL’s activities, the league has become well-known in the Christian world, which appreciates these remarkable activities,” he said.

“The Orthodox Church has a great network of relations with Islamic societies and communities, and there’s communication with Muslims in our country. The history of Russia has never seen wars or conflicts with Muslims,” Kirill I added.

“Since Orthodox Christians and Muslims belong to the Eastern civilization, we share many commonalities. My job … has made this fact very clear to me.”

Kirill I underscored the Russian people’s unity regardless of religion, sect or ethnicity. “Russia can serve as an example for countries and representatives of faiths and sects,” he said.

Al-Issa said: “I’m happy to visit the Russian Orthodox Church and to meet with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill I, who is known for his outstanding efforts in promoting religious harmony and coexistence as well as love and tolerance.”

Al-Issa added. “We in the MWL, and on behalf of all Muslim people, appreciate the humanitarian and moral efforts of the Orthodox Church, and value its fair feelings toward Islam.”

He said: “We appreciate your describing terrorism as having no religion and stating that Islam … has nothing to do with terrorism.”

He added: “I’ve met with a number of Muslims, especially Muslim scholars in Russia, and they hold great esteem for the Orthodox Church for its efforts to preserve religious harmony, which are appreciated historic efforts.”

Al-Issa said: “The commonalities we share are many, especially the convergence of Eastern culture with its human and moral values.”

He said: “There won’t be a cultural shock between us because we belong to one Eastern culture and have several humanitarian goals.”

Al-Issa said: “With your wisdom, we can promote religious and ethnic cooperation. We, in the Muslim world, believe in your great role and are sure of its importance and impact.”


Riyadh Travel Fair faces second delay amid coronavirus

Updated 21 min 42 sec ago

Riyadh Travel Fair faces second delay amid coronavirus

  • Riyadh Travel Fair is the largest tourism and travel exhibition in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s largest tourism display, the Riyadh Travel Fair 2020, has been postponed for a second time because of safety fears over the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially scheduled for March, the annual event was first shifted to September, but is now planned for March 15-18, 2021.

The latest postponement was made in the interests of public health and safety by officials at ASAS Exhibitions and Conference Organizing Company, the firm organizing the fair. 

Bandar Al-Quraini, the company’s general manager, said: “We are now planning for the 2021 edition and look forward to welcoming back all our travel industry partners and public once the health and safety of visitors can be fully assured.”

Riyadh Travel Fair is the largest tourism and travel exhibition in the Kingdom, attracting visitors and exhibitors from the Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. 

It aims to promote investment, development and sustainability of this sector in the region.

More than 270 exhibitors from 50 countries were due to take part in the 2020 edition, with up to 30,000 visitors expected for the three-day event.