Sisi Underlines Facing Terrorist Groups without Prejudice, Settling Palestinian Cause

Riyadh- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi told the Arab-Islamic-US summit in Riyadh on Sunday that there are four elements to deal with terrorism – facing terrorist groups without prejudice, confronting all dimensions of the terrorism phenomenon, eradicating terrorist groups’ ability to recruit new fighters and settling the Palestinian cause based on a fair, final and comprehensive solution.

He commenced his speech with conveying the salutation of Egyptian Muslims and Copts. Sisi said that the summit has a symbolic value and the decisiveness amongst everyone reflects the wish to renew partnership between Arab and Islamic states, and the US.

In this context, the president talked about Egypt’s battle with terrorist groups in North Sinai and the attempt to obliterate terrorism with the least human losses.

He pledged to defeat terrorist groups and to partner and lend a helping hand to all allies in the battle against all these organizations everywhere.

Sisi wondered about the safe havens for training fighters of terrorist groups. “Who is buying from them natural resources that fall under their control such as oil?” he further asked. “Where do they get their funds from?”

He hinted that some countries are involved in financing terrorist organizations and providing them with safe havens. He said some countries refuse to share information they have about terrorist activity even with the Interpol.

Sisi praised US President Donald Trump’s vision and decisive policies in facing terrorism. “I have no doubt that the US contribution will bring about the qualitative change needed in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

He also asked the summit for a timeframe for presenting a comprehensive strategy to eradicate terrorism.

UAE Calls on Iran to Respect Neighbors’ Sovereignty

Riyadh- UAE has described the Iranian role as negative and a dangerous challenge through the interventions that trigger sectarianism and extremism.

It called on Iran to reconsider its policies, to respect the sovereignty of its neighbors, to communicate based on good-neighborliness and abstain from interfering in what supports security and safety in the region.

The UAE has paid a tribute to the historic initiative of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for convening the Arab Islamic American Summit.

“This cordial invitation to attend and participate in this historic summit promises an exceptional era that brings a genuine dialogue among civilizations, true interaction among cultures and a serious vision of a peaceful, safe and secured world that enjoys stability and growth for all of us with no exception,” UAE said in a statement.

“This historic event inaugurates a new phase of distinguished relations between the US and our states within a framework of strategic cooperation and openness towards other cultures and civilizations and the keen desire to achieve stability and to push further towards addressing all issues of common interest,” according to the statement.

It added that this new phase will contribute to building bridges among peoples, overcoming gaps, transcending differences and moving forward towards greater understanding and more alliances at all levels.

The UAE believes that “extremism and terrorism are by no means linked to a given culture, religion, society or state. It is a danger faced by all of us with no exception. It believes that no state, community, organizations or individuals can face this imminent danger alone and in isolation from the others.”

It also commended the Islamic Alliance, led by the Saudi Arabia, which establishes a leading model of cooperation and international alliances to counter extremism and violence.

“We call on Iran to cease interference, respect the sovereignty of its neighbors, and communicate on the basis of good-neighborliness and not to interfere with the region’s security and stability,” the statement concluded.

King Salman: Arab-Islamic-US Summit Will Strengthen our Alliance against Terror

Salman

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz welcomed on Sunday the leaders and delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council that have arrived in Riyadh.

He said in a tweet on his personal Twitter account: “I welcome my brothers and friends at the Arab-Islamic-US summit that will have positive repercussions on our region and world.”

The summit will also “strengthen our alliance against extremism and terrorism,” he added.

King Salman made his tweets ahead of the Arab-Islamic-US summit that will be attended by visiting US President Donald Trump and focus on ways to combat terrorism and extremism.

Yemeni Foreign Minister: We Have Documents on Iran’s Crimes

Jeddah- Yemen is in possession of documents that reveal the crimes committed by Iran, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi has said.

The minister pointed out that the Yemeni government intends to arrange a meeting with US officials in Riyadh, on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-US Summit to discuss the Yemeni file.

Mekhlafi ensured, during a phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat, that Yemen will be a focal point in the summit through the participation of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the meeting with US President Donald Trump, based on the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The Yemeni minister considered this summit a significant opportunity for Yemen to tackle Arab topics, adding that the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supporting legitimacy, has a message to deliver regarding the Iranian intervention in Yemen.

The meddling – via Iran’s support to Houthis and Saleh militias – has sparked the war in Yemen, he said. It also led to the country’s involvement in a long-lasting destructive war, not to mention that part of Yemen was transformed by Iran to a base to target Saudi Arabia.

Mekhlafi continued that the government will assign a high-ranking delegation to visit the US and meet with a number of officials, especially that there is a great US understanding of what is happening in Yemen with the presence of the new administration.

On proof of Tehran’s involvement in Yemen, he said that the Yemeni government has several documents and pieces of evidence on the crimes committed by Iran.

The minister added that Yemen will present them to the international community.

Commenting on his meeting with UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Mekhlafi affirmed that the government did not object to anything and demanded that the envoy provide guarantees on behalf of the other party that is hindering the peace process.

Trump’s Saudi Visit Holds Important Dimensions, Strategic Issues

Washington, Riyadh – US political opinions varied on the visit of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia on Saturday, as some politicians described it as an opportunity to unveil the president’s stance towards Gulf, Arab and Islamic leaders, while others noted that such visit would promote partnerships and alliances with more than 55 Islamic countries around the world.

Other American analysts went on to say that Trump’s speech in the Saudi capital would represent a roadmap for the US Administration’s policies in the Islamic world, and its war against terrorism and extremism.

According to US Diplomat Richard Haass, former president of the US Council on Foreign Relations, Trump’s visit to the Kingdom is seen as a reassurance to America’s allies in the region, who look towards a partnership with the US to stand against Iran and the nuclear deal, in addition to supporting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, without getting the US involved in the war there.

“Israel, too, is looking for reassurance. Leaders there likely will pressure the president on reports that he’ll delay acting on his promise to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a move that could trigger violence and set back what little chance exists for Israel-Palestinian reconciliation,” Haass said in an article published on Wednesday.

For Jon Alterman, senior vice-president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Gulf leaders believe that the US president shared their priorities, including hostility towards Iran.

In an article on CSIS website, Alterman said: “The Gulf’s leaders want to feel American love,” adding that they were seeking to work with the United States on fighting terrorism and boosting economic and military cooperation.

Back to Riyadh, Dr. Zuhair al-Harthi, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Trump’s visit was the result of Saudi Arabia’s steady diplomatic efforts that have contributed to the revival of historic and strategic ties between the two countries.

He added that the most important message, which would be highlighted during the US-Arab-Islamic summit, was that religion had nothing to do with terrorism, and that all religions repudiate the heinous actions perpetrated by terrorist groups.

Senior Scholars Council Stresses Importance of Arab-Islamic-US Summit

Saudi, Arab Islamic US Summit, GCC

Riyadh – Secretariat General of Saudi Senior Scholars Council stressed the importance of convening the Arab-Islamic-US summit to achieve the aspirations of the peoples around the world for security and peace.

The Secretariat reiterated that Islam is the religion of peace and mercy to the whole mankind.

The Council’s Secretariat General issued a statement on Wednesday stating that convening this summit in “Saudi Arabia, the Guardian of the Two Holy Mosques and the heart of the Muslim world, confirms its great responsibility and shows the importance of its leadership, especially as the Kingdom has been the first of those affected by terrorism.”

In its statement, the Secretariat hoped this summit will lead to organized actions and global coordination to combat the scourge of terrorism. It added that terrorism threatened many sites around the world, and would only be eliminated with religious, political, security, intellectual, and economic system.

Speaker of the Shura Council Sheikh Dr. Abdullah Al al-Sheikh emphasized that, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Saudi Arabia looks forward to a world of security, peace, justice, stability, economic prosperity, and sustainable development.

It is required to exert efforts at regional and international levels to achieve greater understanding and cooperation in confronting the threats and dangers that threaten the entire world and enhance security and stability in the region, according to Sheikh Abdullah.

The Speaker said that by hosting the 17th consultative meeting of leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States, GCC-US Summit, and Arab-Islamic-US Summit, Saudi Arabia confirms its influential role in the Islamic world and on the international arena in promoting stability in the region.

Sheikh considered Trump’s first visit to the Kingdom a confirmation of the special strategic relations between Riyadh and Washington.

King Salman Invites Indonesia, Azerbaijan Presidents to Attend Summit in Riyadh

Saudi

Jeddah – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz sent a message to President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, inviting him to attend the Arab-Islamic-US Summit to be hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The message was delivered by the Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Awad al-Awad during a meeting with the Indonesian President on Friday.

The Saudi minister conveyed appreciation of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, deputy premier and minister of interior, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the second deputy prime minister and minister of defense, to the Indonesian president. The message also expressed the Saudi officials’ keenness to develop Indonesian-Saudi ties in diverse fields to achieve common interests of both nations.

Widodo also expressed gratitude for King Salman’s invitation to attend the summit, hoping that it contributes in serving the Islamic and Arab nations’ matters, presenting the correct image of Islam and reinforcing international security and safety.

Saudi Arabia’s Arab Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer al-Sabhan also invited on Friday at the presidential palace Azerbaijan President to attend the summit.