Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz vowed on Sunday to “stand united to combat the forces of evil and extremism regardless of their sources,” accusing Iran of being the source of instability in the region.
He said during the opening address of the Arab-Islamic-US summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh: “The Iranian regime has been the spearhead of global terrorism since the Khomeini revolt and until today.”
“We have been in this country for 300 years and we never knew terrorism until the Khomeini revolution reared its head in 1979,” he declared before an audience of leaders from the Arab and Muslim worlds as well as visiting United States President Donald Trump.
He stressed that Islam prohibits murder and committing crimes as it is “a religion of peace and tolerance”.
“We as peoples and nations reject and condemn all harm done to the ties of Islamic states with friendly ones as well as the segregation of people on religious or sectarian basis. These are hateful acts that are a product of attempts to exploit Islam as a cover for the purposes of a policy that fuels hate, extremism and terrorism and religious and sectarian conflicts.”
King Salman went on to accuse the Iranian regime, the organizations affiliated with “Hezbollah” and the Houthis, as well as the al-Qaeda and ISIS groups of committing such acts.
“Iran has rejected our initiatives as good neighbors and has replaced them with ambitions of expansion, criminal practices and the intervention in the internal affairs of other countries thereby violating international law and coexistence and mutual respect.”
“The Iranian regime believed our silence to be weakness and our wisdom to be a retreat until we grew fed up with its hostile practices and meddling as we have seen in Yemen and other regional countries,” continued the king.
“We stress at the same time that the Iranian people has our respect and appreciation. We do not blame the people for the actions of its regime. The Kingdom has long suffered and it was a target of terrorism because it is the center of Islam,” declared the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Terrorist ideology seeks to spread and achieve its false legitimacy through targeting the heart of Islam, he said.
“We succeeded in confronting terrorist action and we have thwarted several terrorist plots. We have also helped our brothers in the world in avoiding plots that sought to target their security and destroy their stability,” noted King Salman.
“As part of the efforts to combat terrorism, the Gulf Cooperation Council reached an historic agreement with the United States on Sunday to take firm measures against the sources of terrorist funding.”
They established the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh “and we look forward to more countries joining this center in the future,” he added.
“This center should be set as an example and it is based on our ongoing efforts. I stress in the name of my brothers, the leader of the Islamic countries meeting here, that we will not be lenient in trying those who are funding or supporting terrorism in any shape or form. Fair sentences will be fully laid down,” he vowed.
“As part of our war on terror, we stress our determination to destroy the ISIS organization and other terror groups, regardless of their religion, sect or ideology,” said King Salman.
“This is what prompted us to establish the Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism in a pioneering step to contain terror,” he noted.
“Terrorism is a product of extremism and in wake of the need to confront it, we announce the inauguration of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, which is aimed, in cooperation with peace-loving countries and international organizations, at spreading moderate principles, fortifying families and societies and combating the weak excuses used by terrorists.”
“Destroying terrorism should not take place through direct confrontation alone, but through sustainable development, which is what Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 embodies through its various aspects. It is keen on investing in the youth, empowering women, diversifying the economy and developing education,” King Salman stressed.
“There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia supports and encourages every effort by fraternal and friendly states in activating sustainable development in their countries.”
“We also stress the need to achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, which is a fair and necessary demand that requires joint sacrifices and honest determination for the interests of all,” he said.
“The international community must also intensify its efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis in a manner that meets the expectations of the Syrian people and preserves the country’s unity and sovereignty,” he added.
“The hopes and aspirations of our peoples are big and our responsibilities towards achieving these aspirations are great, but your concern will help us face these duties with determination. We are determined to commit to this development as a strategic goal to confront extremism and terrorism and provide a dignified life,” he stated.
“Our meeting with president of the United States, which we enjoy strong and friendly ties with, embodies his interest and keenness on cementing cooperation and continuing in coordinating stances in various fields.”
“This has significant connotations in that the 55 Arab and Islamic states gathered here today and whose population exceed 1.5 billion, are important partners in combating the forces of extremism and terrorism. They are also important partners in achieving security, stability and world peace,” declared the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
“The president has high hopes and aspirations for cooperation with the Arab and Muslim world,” he stressed.
King Salman thanked Trump for his visit to Saudi Arabia and participation in the summit.
“We are gathered at this summit to express our seriousness in taking eager steps to bolster real partnership with the United States in a manner that serves our common interests and achieves security, peace and human development, which is underscored by our religion of Islam.”