Saudi Arabia takes on G20 presidency

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Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi in Nagoya. (SPA)
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Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (R) shakes hands with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan to mark the handover to Saudi Arabia as future hosts, at the end of the third plenary session of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Nagoya. (AFP)
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Updated 01 January 2020

Saudi Arabia takes on G20 presidency

  • Program seeks to support innovation, empower people

NAGOYA: Saudi Arabia took over the G20 presidency for next year at a meeting of the group’s foreign ministers, which was held on Saturday in Nagoya, Japan.

The Saudi delegation was headed by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who thanked Japan for leading and ensuring the success of the G20’s work in 2019, and welcomed the Kingdom taking on the presidency for 2020.

He said Saudi Arabia has prepared a comprehensive and ambitious program under the directives of King Salman and the direct supervision of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In his speech at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, in June, the crown prince outlined the program of the Kingdom’s presidency.

It addresses the most pressing issues and challenges facing economic sectors in the future, and formulates policies and initiatives to address those challenges, in cooperation with G20 countries, for the benefit of all their peoples.

King Salman also hailed the Kingdom’s G20 presidency as proof of its key role in the global economy.

The Kingdom will launch its G20 presidency on Dec. 1 with a detailed declaration of its program, which seeks to support innovation, achieve prosperity, empower people and preserve the planet, in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

G20 counterparts

Prince Faisal met separately with the EU’s foreign policy chief, the foreign ministers of the Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand and Argentina, and the UK’s minister for Commonwealth, UN and South Asian affairs.

During the meetings, they discussed issues of mutual interest, and ways to enhance cooperation and develop bilateral relations.

Bilateral ties

Japan — which headed the G20 this year — was the Kingdom’s second-largest export market last year, at $33 billion, according to IMF trade data.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu told Prince Faisal he was pleased to meet him for the first time and both sides wanted to boost relations, according to a read-out from Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

Motegi praised Saudi work to stabilize southern Yemen, where Riyadh orchestrated a deal to end a power struggle between Yemen’s government, which it backs, and southern separatists.


Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

Updated 28 February 2020

Organization of Islamic Cooperation to adopt Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam

  • OIC secretary-general notes that the organization continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups

JEDDAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen announced on Wednesday that the OIC will adopt the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) after it is revised in accordance with international human-rights standards. The foreign ministers of the OIC member states are expected to approve the CDHRI at their meeting in Niamey, Niger in April.

 Al-Othaimeen was speaking at the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), held in Geneva on Wednesday, where he highlighted some of the efforts the OIC has made to fight racism and xenophobia — including Islamophobia — claiming that they are the result of “intellectual and political resistance to cultural pluralism.”

He said the OIC, in cooperation with its partners, has prepared “a comprehensive and consensual approach to address incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence on the basis of religion.”

Al-Othaimeen’s speech, which was delivered on his behalf by OIC Geneva Permanent Representative Nassima Baghli, stressed that terrorism, including religious extremism, is a major source of concern for the international community. He pointed out that the OIC continues to condemn the ideological rhetoric adopted by terrorist groups and has established the Sawt Al-Hikma (Voice of Wisdom) Center, which focuses on addressing the ideological rhetoric of extremists.

His speech also reviewed the most common human-rights violations suffered by Muslims, referring to the detailed documentation from the UN’s own human rights bodies and the OIC of discrimination and violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

Al-Othaimeen explained that America’s actions in Palestine in recent months required the OIC to stress that any peace initiative between Israel and Palestine must be consistent with legitimate rights, foremost among which is the right to self-determination.

He also stressed the OIC’s support for Kashmiris in their pursuit of their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with international resolutions and highlighted the OIC’s condemnation of Armenia’s continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven regions bordering Azerbaijan.