King Abdullah interfaith dialogue center opens in Vienna

King Abdullah interfaith dialogue center opens in Vienna
Updated 28 November 2012

King Abdullah interfaith dialogue center opens in Vienna

King Abdullah interfaith dialogue center opens in Vienna

The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) will promote world peace and serve the humanity, said Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal here yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after attending the center’s opening ceremony, Prince Saud said: “This is a historic day. We hope the center would contribute to bringing people closer and settle their disputes peacefully.”
The opening ceremony was attended by Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo and hundreds of religious leaders.
Prince Saud said he hoped the center would "bring peace and understanding between the various religions. Religion has been the basis for many conflicts."
The center, launched by Saudi Arabia as an international organization with multifaith oversight, aims to help religions contribute to solving problems such as conflicts, prejudice and health crises rather than be misused to worsen them.
"The prime purpose is to empower the active work of those in the field, whether in the field of dialogue, of social activism or of conflict resolution," said Jerusalem-based Rabbi David Rosen, representing Judaism on the nine-seat board of directors.
"We want to empower you," he told an opening session where dialogue projects from Europe, the Middle East and Africa reported on how they worked to foster inter-faith understanding.
The center plans to work first on improving how religions are presented in media and schoolbooks, involving faith leaders in children's health campaigns in poor countries and hosting religious leaders for fellowships at its Vienna headquarters.
Saudi officials at the Vienna conference stressed the dialogue message was being spread back home as well.
"The aim is to promote acceptance of other cultures, moderation and tolerance," said Fahad Sultan Al-Sultan, deputy head of a Saudi national dialogue effort launched in 2003. "There are problems but we have achieved some success."
Board member Reverend Toby Howarth said its international status sponsored by Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain gave the center several advantages over non-governmental organizations or church groups working on similar issues.
It would have more "pulling power" dealing with government ministers on issues such as improving the way religions are presented in a country's schoolbooks, said Howarth, who is interfaith adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The fact that King Abdullah is the custodian of Islam's two holiest mosques in Makkah and Madinah would "have weight in some Muslim countries", he added.
Spindelegger defended the establishment of KAICIID in Vienna, saying "it is my deep conviction that there is no alternative to this dialogue". KAICIID officials say the center is independent and would not be promoting any one religion.


Saudi FM reiterates Kingdom’s support for Tunisia’s security and stability

Saudi FM reiterates Kingdom’s support for Tunisia’s security and stability
Updated 7 min 44 sec ago

Saudi FM reiterates Kingdom’s support for Tunisia’s security and stability

Saudi FM reiterates Kingdom’s support for Tunisia’s security and stability
  • FM's comments come after he met with President Kais Saied at the Presidential Palace in Carthage
  • President named new interior minister Thursday in first major appointment since he seized executive powers

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's foreign minister reiterated the Kingdom’s support for Tunisia’s security and stability during a meeting with the president on Friday.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that the Kingdom stands by “everything that achieves prosperity” in Tunisia.

The foreign minister’s comments come after he met with Tunisian President Kais Saied at the Presidential Palace in Carthage, outside Tunis on Friday.

During the meeting, the two officials reviewed the current situation in Tunisia and the decisions taken by the president to stabilize it, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

Prince Faisal reiterated the Kingdom's confidence in the Tunisian leadership to overcome the current circumstances and to achieve prosperity for the Tunisian people.

Saied on Sunday dismissed the prime minister, froze parliament for a month and said he was taking over executive authority amid protests and an economic crisis.

On Thursday, the president named a new interior minister in his first major appointment since he seized executive powers.

Saied appointed Ridha Gharsallaoui, a former national security adviser to the presidency, to the post. The interior ministry oversees domestic security, including policing.


Arab coalition thwarts Houthi drone attack on Saudi commercial ship

Arab coalition thwarts Houthi drone attack on Saudi commercial ship
Updated 30 July 2021

Arab coalition thwarts Houthi drone attack on Saudi commercial ship

Arab coalition thwarts Houthi drone attack on Saudi commercial ship
  • The Iran-backed Houthi militia continues to threaten global shipping lines, the coalition said

RIYADH: The Arab coalition has thwarted a Houthi drone attack on a Saudi commercial ship, Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia continues to threaten global shipping lines, the coalition said.

It added that its efforts have contributed to securing freedom of navigation and the safety of ships transiting the Bab Al-Mandab Strait.

The “hostile attempt” to attack the Saudi ship comes after two crew members were killed when a petroleum products tanker managed by an Israeli-owned company came under attack on Thursday off Oman's coast. Israel’s Channel 13 TV quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official blaming Iran for the lethal attack in which a drone was used.


Saudi Arabia announces 14 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 14 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 30 July 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 14 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 14 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 505,003
  • A total of 8,226 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 14 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,187 new infections on Friday.
Of the new cases, 256 were recorded in Riyadh, 212 in Makkah, 174 in the Eastern Province, 118 in Jazan, 64 in Madinah, 59 in Asir, 58 in Hail, 52 in Najran, 36 in Al-Baha, 31 in the Northern Borders region, 28 in Tabuk, and seven in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 505,003 after 1,176 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 8,226 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 26.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi Arabia keen to protect human rights, HRC chief says

Saudi Arabia keen to protect human rights, HRC chief says
Updated 30 July 2021

Saudi Arabia keen to protect human rights, HRC chief says

Saudi Arabia keen to protect human rights, HRC chief says
  • In observance of Friday’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Al-Awwad said the Kingdom is making significant and constant efforts
  • Al-Awwad wants to criminalize and combat human trafficking through a set of actions and measures that ensure human dignity

RIYADH: Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, president of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, said Saudi Arabia is keen to protect and promote human rights.

Al-Awwad also wants to criminalize and combat human trafficking through a set of actions and measures that ensure human dignity and protect it from all forms of abuse and exploitation.

In observance of Friday’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Al-Awwad said the Kingdom is making significant and constant efforts to combat human trafficking through the establishment of the Saudi National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking.

The committee enacts regulations and legislation that ensure protecting victims and safeguarding their rights on a local and global level.

Not only did the Kingdom issue regulations and legislation to combat human trafficking, but it was also keen to make the necessary efforts to enforce them, Al-Awwad said.


Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province conducts 1,524 COVID-19 health tours

Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province conducts 1,524 COVID-19 health tours
Updated 30 July 2021

Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province conducts 1,524 COVID-19 health tours

Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province conducts 1,524 COVID-19 health tours

DAMMAM: Municipalities throughout Saudi Arabia have ramped up efforts to monitor compliance with health and safety measures introduced to help stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Eastern Province municipality recently carried out 1,524 inspection tours in one day at shopping malls, commercial centers, and stores.

Checks resulted in nine commercial outlets being shut down, while 77 violators were issued with penalties for ignoring health regulations, which included breaches of overcrowding rules and failure to use the Tawakkalna app.

Officials have urged members of the public to report any suspected health breaches by phoning the 940 call-center number or contacting authorities via the Balady app.