New Gulf body to tighten economic bond

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, leaders of Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, UAE and GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif Al-Zayani attend a summit meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council in Jeddah on Tuesday. Earlier, King Salman received all the leaders separately. (SPA)
Updated 01 June 2016

New Gulf body to tighten economic bond

JEDDAH: Gulf Arab states on Tuesday formed a new agency to tighten economic cooperation in the region.

The Economic and Development Affairs Commission “will boost coherence, integration and coordination between member states in all economic and development sectors,” the Gulf Cooperation Council said in a statement.
The announcement was made at the 16th consultative meeting of the GCC leaders in Jeddah, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
Gulf states have made unprecedented fuel and energy subsidy cuts and planned to introduce indirect taxation following global price drop. They have also scaled back spending on large projects. Oil prices have fallen from more than $100 a barrel in early 2014 to around half that level.
The newly formed body “will look into matters such as completing the customs union and the common market of the GCC states,” Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told a news conference after the summit. He said the authority “can solve these issues urgently and effectively” to promote cooperation.
On Russia’s guarantees for Iran’s non-interference in the Gulf, Al-Jubeir said Russia has nothing to do with this. However, he expressed hope that there would be good relations between the GCC member states and Iran, based on the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the affairs of others.
“This is our problem with Iran. When they stop this, adjust their policies and adhere to the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference in the affairs of others, the door will be open to build better relations with them, being a neighboring Islamic state, but we cannot have normal relations with a state that has no goal but to destroy us, plant cells and smuggle explosives into our allies’ lands, in order to destabilize the region.”
On Syria, he said ground intervention is an inevitable solution. He said the Kingdom was ready to send ground forces, led by the United States and coalition countries, which should include Russia. Meanwhile, the country was still sending aid to the Syrians displaced in their country and elsewhere, he said.
Regarding the Palestine issue, he said it is too early to evaluate seriousness of the Israeli side to start negotiations based on Arab peace initiative, said SPA in a tweet.


Saudi program seeks ‘culture of dialogue, tolerance’

Updated 01 October 2020

Saudi program seeks ‘culture of dialogue, tolerance’

  • Islam has provided the first constitution that enhances the idea of common citizenship and freedom of religions

RIYADH: The King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) and the Interreligious Platform for Dialogue and Cooperation (IPDC) on Wednesday launched the Dialogue Program 2020 among religious leaders and organizations in the Arab world.

KAICIID secretary-general, Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar, said the center aims to enhance the culture of dialogue and coexistence, and highlight the value of human diversity.

He said the center also lays the foundations of understanding and collaboration among all religions and cultures, and highlights the importance of building a diverse culture.

The center provides sustainable solutions for today’s challenges, he added.

“Serious dialogue can enhance the role of interreligious institutions, helping to promote a culture of dialogue, coexistence and tolerance in society,” he said. “The message of the center addresses all humankind and not a specific society.”

The terrorist events that ripped through the region were the result of fanaticism and hatred, he said, noting that people of all diverse and multiple backgrounds can coexist peacefully in society.

“Islam has provided the first constitution that enhances the idea of common citizenship and freedom of religions. The Document of Madinah included a comprehensive constitution that guides people of different religious backgrounds on how to live together peacefully and practice their religion freely, and, most importantly, enhance the values of coexistence, justice, security and peace among one another,” he added.

Bin Muaammar called on those who have the capability to fight the discourse of extremism, saying that dialogue can enhance “human principles and values such as mercy, respect, tolerance, peace and social solidarity.”

He also urged religious leaders and institutions, as well as policymakers, to promote such values and strengthen comprehensive citizenship.

“Those leaders and institutions can fight and confront the threats facing peaceful coexistence and tolerance, threats that are posed by extreme groups,” he said. “Religious institutions should enhance the culture of common citizenship, each in their society.”

KAICIID contributes to such efforts through its experience and collaboration with relevant institutions around the world.

The Dialogue Program 2020 promotes dialogue, common citizenship and coexistence in the Arab world through cooperation in a range of projects. It also challenges messages of hate locally, nationally and regionally.