SAUDI ARABIA NEWS: Saudi authorities stop plot to smuggle large quantities of drugs. They also arrest 88 people. Arab News

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SAUDI ARABIA NEWS: King Salman – Strategic meetings between Islamic World and Russia important for global stability

JEDDAH – King Salman of Saudi Arabia confirmed that the Russian Federation and Islamic world are important for strengthening regional and international stability and security.

The speech was delivered by Prince Khaled Al Faisal, Emir of Makkah, on behalf of the Saudi King. He said that Islam is known for tolerance and moderation and therefore accepts all races.

The speech was delivered by Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Makkah governor, on behalf of King Salman. (Supplied)

He said that Saudi Arabia had played an honorable part in adopting the principles of coexistence and moderation. It has also tried to support regional efforts and international efforts in this area and presented many initiatives, including the Makkah Declaration supporting the UN Alliance of Civilizations office.

In his speech, the king stated that Saudi Arabia will continue to support efforts to promote these principles. He believes that differences do not have to be discordant and that tolerance is necessary for transcendence.

He added that the Saudi-Russian relations, which have extended for a period of 95 years, are strong and historical.

These relations have seen qualitative leaps over the past years and culminated with high-level visits between both countries. These visits led to the signing of many joint agreements in every economic, cultural, as well as defense field. They also helped to develop these relations and strengthen the trust between the two countries,” Prince Khaled Al Faisal, on behalf of the King, said.

Participants take part in the Group of Strategic Vision Russia — Islamic World summit. (SPA)

King Salman stated that Russia and Islam share a deep cultural heritage. This opens the door to activating religious institutions, creating an environment that encourages peaceful coexistence among followers of different religions, protecting human rights, and preserving the role and spirituality of the family.

He added that Russia has deep-rooted relations with the Islamic world, as evidenced by its presence as an observer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for more than 15 years, which has resulted in fruitful cooperation with the organization.

“He added that more than 20 million Muslims live in harmony with their communities, and enjoy the right to freely practice their religious rites,” he said.

He noted that the dynamic of relations between Islamic countries and Russia is complex. This allows for the building of bridges of scientific-technical cooperation, as well as promoting them in the fields of education, development, software and the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Saudi Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation Abdulrahman Al Ahmed told Arab News that Saudi-Russia relations began in 1926 when Karim Hakimov was appointed as an envoy to the late King Abdul Aziz.

To discuss common issues, the Strategic Vision Group meeting between Russia & the Islamic world will be held. (Supplied)

“That was followed up by letters between the leaders from the two countries. In 1932, King Faisal, who was at that time the viceroy of the Hijaz and foreign minister, made an official visit to Moscow. In 1990, Prince Saud Al-Faisal visited Moscow to resume relations and sign agreements and political discussions between the two countries,” he said.

He said that relations strengthened when Prince Sultan and King Abdullah visited Moscow at the beginning of the new century.

“There was a qualitative leap in the relations between the two countries through the visits made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Moscow in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. These visits were crowned with a visit by King Salman to Moscow in 2017, during which a number of agreements were signed. In 2019, President Vladimir Putin visited Riyadh, and again, several agreements were inked.”

He said that the cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia has expanded at all economic levels, including in culture, energy, policy and arts. He said that Russia and Saudi Arabia are both members of OPEC+, and other fields.

Vitaliy Naumkin (director of the Institute of Oriental Studies) spoke out to Arab News about how such meetings could improve cooperation between Russia, the Islamic world and Russia. He said that the conference was very important because it was held during the pandemic. This conference is attended by many people. There are also some very important people there. We need to work together more because of the pandemic in the world and the new developments in the world .

Naumkin said that both sides had signed important agreements.

“We have signed other important agreements here in Saudi Arabia today, and these will be followed up by new steps. I am certain these steps will prove to be very beneficial.

“Russia and the Islamic World will cooperate more, particularly Saudi Arabia which is located at the center of Islam and plays a key part in this cooperation .”

Meanwhile, in an article posted on the Saudi Embassy’s website on Monday, Al- Ahmed said that among the urgent international issues the group will pay attention to are combating terrorism, international peace and security, the role of international organizations in the peaceful settlement of disputes, promoting a culture of peace, and economic cooperation in the post-COVID-19 world.

He said that the meeting would be focused on dialogue, cultural and humanitarian rapprochement as well as other pressing issues.

Al-Ahmed stated that “In this context I am pleased to recommend the Group of Strategic Vision Russia — Islamic World’s efforts in rapprochement among the Russian Federation and Muslim world through joint works to enhance dialogue, understanding, reject extremist views, and strengthen joint actions to combat international terrorist attacks.”

He said, “I would like the Russian Federation’s firm position on the just issues in the Muslim world, and the Russian political leaders’ keenness to achieve harmony and understanding between the peoples from Islamic countries and those of the Russian Federation to face common challenges, and achieve prosperity and progress for all,” he concluded.

Rustam Minnikhanov was the president of the Republic of Tatarstan, chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision — “Russia-Islamic World”, Hussein Ibrahim Taha secretary-general of OIC, Walid bin Abdul Karim deputy minister of foreign affairs in Saudi Arabia, and many others.

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