Muslim World League chief, Croatian president discuss ways to promote tolerance

MWL Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa meets Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Zagreb on Saturday. (SPA)
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Updated 16 February 2020

Muslim World League chief, Croatian president discuss ways to promote tolerance

  • Al-Issa reiterates league’s mission to renounce all forms of extremism

ZAGREB: Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic received Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), at the presidential palace in Zagreb on Saturday.
The two leaders discussed cooperation opportunities to promote the values of tolerance and coexistence.
Al-Issa reiterated the MWL’s mission to adhere to peace and renounce all forms of extremism.
The Croatian president expressed her appreciation of the MWL’s mission and its work around the world, especially its initiative to enhance cooperation between states and peoples for more harmonious communities.
Al-Issa also met Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and discussed areas of joint work in the context of initiatives launched by the MWL to consolidate the values of religious and national harmony.
In another meeting, the MWL chief met with speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandrokovic, and discussed potential areas of cooperation in tasks of common interest, especially those related to minority rights.
Al-Issa met with imams working in Croatia, and with the president of the Islamic Cultural Center.
He also visited a Croatian parish and held a meeting with the bishops in charge, discussing methods of cooperation.
Al-Issa accepted the invitation of Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic to visit the capital. Bandic expressed his appreciation for the MWL’s efforts in promoting peace and coexistence around the world, and strengthening relations between states and people.


It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

Updated 04 April 2020

It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

  • Saudi foreign and energy ministers say Moscow's claim that Kingdom withdrew from the OPEC+ deal was unfounded
  • They said it was Russia that abandoned the agreement, leading to a collapse in world oil prices

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil prices.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom was planning to get rid of shale oil producers."

"The minister affirmed that what was mentioned is fully devoid of truth and that the withdrawal of the Kingdom from the agreement is not correct," the statement said.

In fact Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries tried to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the deal, but Russia did not agree, it said.

Prince Farhan expressed surprise that Russia had to resort to "falsifying facts" when Saudi Arabia's stance on shale oil production is known, the statement said.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of the main investors in the energy sector in United States, implying that there is no reason for the Kingdom "to get rid of shale oil producers" as Russia has claimed.

He further said the Kingdom "is also seeking to reach more cuts and achieve oil market equilibrium for the interest of shale oil producers."

OPEC+ refers to the cooperation between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producers. The cooperation deal which called for cuts in production by the producers was meant to stabilize oil prices. 

In a separate statement, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak’s similar claim that the Kingdom refused to extend the OPEC+ deal and withdrew from it.

Novak "was the first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments starting from the first of April," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement.

He said Novak's statement led other countries to decide "to raise their production to offset the lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns." 

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting of oil exporters after US President Donald Trump said he expected the Kingdom and Russia to cut production by 10-15 million barrels per day.

Prince Farhan said he was "hoping that Russia would take the right decisions in the urgent meeting" so that a "fair agreement that restores the desired balance of oil markets" could be achieved.

The global oil market has crashed, with prices falling to $34 a barrel from $65 at the beginning of the year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fuel demand has dropped by roughly a third, or 30 million barrels per day, as billions of people worldwide restrict their movements.

A global deal to reduce production by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels per day would require participation from nations that do not exert state control over output, including the United States, now the world’s largest producer of crude.

A meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for April 6, but details were thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. No time has yet been set for the meeting, OPEC sources said.