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.

King of Jordan Calls for Coordinated and Global Action to Counter Terrorism

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Riyadh – King of Jordan Abdullah II called for coordinated and global action at every level to counter terrorism, reiterating that a fair solution for the Palestinian cause must be reached.

During the Arab-Islamic-US summit held in Riyadh on Sunday, the monarch said the meeting is an effective response to the serious threats facing the world.

He stated that the future will be shaped by actions, urging: “We all have to work in partnership in four key areas.”

The King explained the four key areas include the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism.

“Only a holistic approach can address the complex layers of the threat, from its evil ideas to its attack on prosperity and security. As you have mentioned, this demands coordinated and global action at every level,” King Abdullah told the summit.

He reiterated that success requires mutual trust as well as strength, explaining that the fight will not be won if “we do not recognize our friends as our friends and our enemies as our enemies.”

Terrorist groups employ a false religious identity and their aim is to mislead and polarize societies and peoples, he added.

King Abdullah stressed that terrorist groups do not inhabit the fringes of Islam and described them as outlaws of Islam. He noted that Arabs and Muslims make up the majority of the terrorists’ victims, adding that intolerance and ignorance will only aid terror groups.

“A second and equally vital challenge is a just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian cause, based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative. This can bring an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and guarantee peace for all, Israelis, Arabs and Muslims,” said the King.

He described the absence of a Palestinian state as a core issue for the region that has driven radicalism and instability into the Muslim world.

The international community has a direct interest in a just peace, he pointed out, adding that the Arab and Muslim world offered its full support for effective negotiations.

Addressing US President Trump who was present at the summit, King Abdullah thanked him for his determination to work towards bringing a settlement to this festering conflict.

He told the Riyadh summit that safeguarding Jerusalem must be a priority and it is vital to relationships among the three monotheistic faiths, insisting that any attempts to create new negotiating factors on the ground will have a “catastrophic” impact. He urged all attendees to become engaged in averting these dangers.

“To me personally, and to all Jordanians, the Hashemite Custodianship of Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian Holy Sites is an unbreakable, historical responsibility and an honor to undertake on behalf of the Arab and Muslim nations,” he informed them.

King Abdullah mentioned that the fourth critical task is to sharpen public focus on the values that will protect and enrich humanity’s future: mutual respect, compassion and acceptance.

There are nearly two billion Muslim men and women today, who enrich the world with their kindness, generosity, justice, civic family duty and faith.

“Their lives express Islam’s teachings on acceptance, humility before God, compassion and peaceful coexistence,” he said.

The king concluded his speech by stressing that the future is based on deeds not words, adding: “We are all accountable for our commitment to fight radicalization in all its forms. We must enhance our joint efforts, so that we are better able, with God’s help, to serve our peoples and future generations.”

Malaysian PM: New Map to Cooperate, Achieve Peace

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Riyadh – Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Abdul Razak has stressed the importance of holding the Arab Islamic American Summit in this timing, describing it as a historic summit that would come out with a new map for cooperating and achieving peace.

Abdul Razak commended efforts of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to serve Islamic causes, adding that the latest visit of King Salman to Malaysia reinforced the cooperation especially on the economic level – Aramco invested USD7 billion in an oil refinery project with Petronas – Malaysian oil and gas company.

He pointed out that his country’s ties with Saudi Arabia are one of the reasons that push Malaysia to fully back this summit and agree with its purposes to increase forgiveness and coexistence as well as to reinforce security and stability.

He also emphasized that Arab states must join efforts and introduce religion tolerance, adding that the Malaysian government reinforces the concept of moderation.

Malaysian Prime Minister affirmed that the terrorism phenomenon is not linked to Islam and most terrorists say that they were deceived by false preachers. He continued that there should be no doubts that terrorists’ threat of Islam is still in its highest level.

Abdul Razak noted that Malaysia suffered the first attempted terrorist attack last year and deterred other operations.

Malaysian Prime Minister concluded that fighting terrorist ISIS is a major point on today’s agenda and Malaysia with US President Donald Trump are both committed to eradicate terrorism.

He also called on Islamic states to face terrorism in a quick and decisive manner.

Ivanka Trump: Saudi Arabia’s Progress is very Encouraging

Riyadh- US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka said Sunday that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made inspiring progress in empowering women but encouraged Saudi females to continue their pursuit for more advancement.

“Saudi Arabia’s progress, especially in recent years, is very encouraging,” Trump’s daughter told a group of Saudi women she met in Riyadh while accompanying her father on a visit to the kingdom. She did however say a lot of work still needs to be done.

“I met with Saudi Arabian women leaders and learned directly of their accomplishments, challenges & vision for the future,” Ivanka Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Earlier, US First Lady Melania Trump visited the American International School of Riyadh and gave out books. On Sunday, she met with General Electric all-female service center and praised the “empowerment of women”.

During the second day of the visit, Ivanka sat at a roundtable of women led by Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy president of the Women’s Sports Authority. Saudi and Arab women expressed their pleasure for the chance of exchanging expertise with Trump’s daughter.

She was invited to the event by the Princess who described Ivanka as an elegant and diplomatic lady who shared her experiences with the women.

Princess Reema and Ivanka first met through retail industry.

“That life in retail took us through to various journeys and exposed us actually to what other women’s experiences in the workplace were,” Princess Reema said.

She stated that Ivanka’s participation was interesting to everyone because of her journey as a woman from private to public sector. She added that in business, the challenges are the same whether in Saudi Arabia or the US.

Princess Reema explained that over the past two years many things have changed for Saudi women, saying: “our laws change to meet our people’s needs.”

Riyadh has pledged a program of social and economic reforms as part of Vision 2030 launched last year.

In February, a Saudi woman, Sarah al-Suhaimi, was appointed to head the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul, while Rania Mahmoud Nashar was appointed as head of Samba bank.

Riyadh Summit, Clear Reasons behind Iran and Syria Absence

As expected, Iran and Syria weren’t invited to the Arab-Islamic-US summit that was concluded in Riyadh on Sunday. There are several reasons but the result is one: isolating them.

Whether they weren’t invited or they didn’t attend, it is all the same. Certainly, if they were present they wouldn’t have been in a good situation after hearing the words of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and US President Donald Trump who were clear that the Iranian regime sponsors terrorism and spreads extremism.

King Salman stated that the Iranian regime is the spearhead of international terrorism since the revolution of Khomeini and until today. Trump said that Iran is spreading destruction and chaos in the region and is responsible for funding terrorism and must be isolated by all countries of the world.

During a joint press conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that Iran and Syria did not attend the Riyadh Summit and must stop triggering sectarianism and meddling in the affairs of the region’s countries.

Tillerson affirmed that Iran should stop its support to terrorism and its interference in the affairs of Yemen, Iraq and Syria as well as its backing to Lebanon’s “Hezbollah”.

Iran has had a golden opportunity to achieve its strategy through importing its revolution so it exploited the developments in the Arab world. Yemen became a theatre, Iraq was taken hostage by its militias and Syria became another point in the quest to achieve the strategy of chaos in the region.

The case is the same in Yemen that is in distress because of the crimes committed by the Houthis – the military and political arm of Iran in the troubled republic.

The Other is a Partner, Not an Enemy

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What do we do with the other who does not resemble us? The other who lives across the sea, in the nearby neighborhood, or the same building. The other who comes from a different history, who drinks from wells other than ours, who sleeps on a different heritage, who reads other books. Can we coexist with him in his loud global village? Is his difference a constant threat to us? Is a clash with him inevitable because the place only fits one color? Should we be separated from him by walls of hate and caution?

What do we do with the other who is different? Do we sever the ties that bind us? Do we protect our identity with isolation? Do we surrender to those stoking fear, paving the way for wars of civilizations, religions and cultures? Do the peaceful moderates withdraw and leave the scene for the extremists to take over the minds and lead the youths to murder and suicide?

In the past two decades, these were pressing questions directed to the Arab and Islamic world. They were asked after the September 11 attacks, again after ISIS seized Mosul and are asked every time a terrorist bloodies a city, whether near or far.

Experience and the days have shown that the Arab and Islamic world is the primary enemy of the terrorists and its main target. Targeting the west was aimed at severing ties they believed were helping the Arab and Muslim countries in weathering the storm.

The Arab and Islamic world is the main target of terrorists. Al-Qaeda has not created as much damage to the west as it did to our countries. The same can be said of ISIS. Creating the clash with the west was aimed at facilitating recruitment and paving the way for taking over the Arab and Islamic world.

We are not exaggerating if we say that we are in the midst of a world war that was launched by reckless terrorism that is hiding behind religion. The bloody bombings have left us with this impression. It has forced the other to fear becoming a target, not just in his security and stability, but also in his right to be different. Experience has shown that targeting the two towers has bloodied the Arab world more than New York. The slaughter of hostages has bloodied the Islamic world more than it has bloodied the countries of the hostages.

The Arab and Islamic world has found itself in a tight spot. At times it found itself in the position of the accused. The factories of terrorists have been set up on its land and their practices are harming their security, stability and interests. Roaming fighters are violating everything. Country borders, principles of coexistence and religion’s essence of tolerance. These countries have found themselves at a loss at how to explain themselves. The other also has forces that are trying to take advantage of this difficult scene.

Taking bold decisions – difficult decisions – was necessary. Leaving the grey area and naming things as they are was necessary. Moving from the war on terrorism to the war on extremism itself was necessary. The culture of extremism births suicide bombers and roaming fighters.

This needed a country that enjoys deep credibility on the Arab and Islamic scenes in order to launch the war on extremism itself and turn it into a constant fixture of its internal and foreign policies and a daily practice in society. The observer of the Riyadh summits quickly realizes that the battle against extremism is the essences of these meetings.

The war on extremism and strengthening the bridge with the other and turning him into a partner in stability and prosperity is the essence of the Saudi-US summit. The same could be said of the Gulf-US summit. This was very clear during the Arab-Islamic-US summit.

It is no easy feat to bring Arab and Islamic leaders to meet US President Donald Trump in Riyadh. The scene was unprecedented and has many connotations. The location has its significance and a message to deliver. The image of Trump addressing the Arab and Islamic leaders was extraordinary indeed. It was predicted that the term of this man will be one of great turbulence in ties with the Arab and Islamic world. Someone however seized the right moment and took action. He prepared papers, data, and reasons and made a move at the right time. This is how the door was open to hold the Riyadh summits.

The man who was addressing the leaders comes from a different heritage. He drinks from different wells. No good can come from turning him into an enemy, which will lead our countries into the trap of extremists. It is not necessary to have similarities between the two sides. Countries have interests and calculations. It is important to create common areas where they can meet. Our countries need what the other possesses in advanced technology that can stay ahead of the times and save their economies. They also need a partnership of interests that encourages them to play a greater role in achieving fair settlements in regional affairs, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

We can say that the first bridge is the war on extremism. The Riyadh summits came to confirm that this decision has indeed been taken and that the war has begun. Starting from this partnership that eases fears and doubts, we can begin building economic, political and defense ties. This is all driven by interests as countries are not charities.

A time will come when you, individuals and countries have to choose: belonging to a future, the price of which should be paid. You cannot forge ahead in the future alone. Partners are needed. The other is also needed. The Riyadh summits have many connotations.

Boeing Announces Deals with Riyadh for Chinook Helicopters, P-8 Surveillance Aircraft

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Riyadh – Boeing Co. announced on Sunday the signing of several defense and commercial deals with Saudi Arabia including the sale of military and passenger aircraft along with Chinook helicopters at the presence of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman and US President Donald Trump.

Boeing said Saudi Arabia agreed to buy Chinook helicopters, associated support services and guided weapons systems, and intends to purchase P-8 surveillance aircraft.

The company also said it would negotiate the sale of up to 16 wide body airplanes to Saudi Gulf Airlines, based in Dammam.

Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg, who participated in the Saudi-US CEO Forum, stated that these announcements reaffirm the company’s commitment to the economic growth, prosperity and national security of both Saudi Arabia and the United States, helping to create or sustain thousands of jobs in both countries.

Boeing also will establish a joint venture with Saudi Arabia to provide sustainment services for a wide range of military platforms including non-Boeing supplied equipment. A separate joint venture would “provide support for both military and commercial helicopters,” the company’s statement added.

“Our decades-long partnership with the Kingdom began in 1945 when President Roosevelt presented a DC-3 to King Abdul Aziz Al Saud, launching commercial air travel in the region. We welcome the opportunity to continue that support. I appreciate the efforts of King Salman, President Trump and his administration to support American manufacturers as we seek to grow at home and around the world,” explained Muilenburg.

Tweeps 2017 Urges Casting Extremism Away

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Riyadh – Organized by the Riyadh-based MiSK Foundation, the interactive Tweeps 2017 forum registered the attendance of notable personalities, among which was daughter and advisor of the United States President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump.

Trump thanked members of the Saudi royal family during her brief remarks and touted the power of social media.

Tweeps speakers urged youth to fight off terror propaganda online and on social media platforms, in addition to actively repelling extremist ideology.

The White House adviser said on Sunday that social media is an incredibly power tool which empowers the people, particularly the next generation.

She said the new generation of Arabs and Muslims have the opportunity to build their future based on “tolerance, hope and peace.”

Several topics were discussed during the event, including the challenges that the international community is facing in its war against extremism through social media and the role of Twitter and social media in aiding a social movement for women.

For his part, Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat Adel al-Jubeir called on countries that embrace terrorists to “criminalize their ideas.”

Confronting extremism comes in three stages– confronting the terrorists, draining the sources of funding for terrorism and more importantly confronting the ideology — said Jubeir.

The UAE’s foreign minister has warned Europe that some countries could be classified as “incubators of terrorism” if they fail to better address extremism.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan said that such countries should be publicly identified if they did not do more to address terror.

“Saudi Arabia is more keen to fight terrorism than the… Europeans,” Sheikh Abdullah said during the Tweeps Forum 2017.

“The voices we hear calling for murder and shedding blood and stealing the wealth of people are in London, Germany, Spain and Italy.

“There will come a day when we see far more radicals, extremists and terrorists coming from Europe because of (a) lack of decision-making, and trying to be politically correct.

“From now on, we will name and shame these countries. We will classify them as incubators of terror if they don’t address this problem of terrorism in their lands.”

During the forum a speech by Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb was delivered focusing on the negative impact of hate speech and extremism on youth.

Tweeps 2017 discussed the theme of “countering terrorism and extremism”. It also promoted the role young people can play in countering terrorism, alongside efforts made by governments around the world.

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.

Arab-Islamic-US Partnership against Extremism and Iran

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Riyadh- The Arab-Islamic-US Summit launched by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh on Sunday, in the presence of US President Donald Trump and scores of Arab and Islamic leaders, founded a collective action against extremism, terrorism and Iran, and culminated in the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology “EATEDAL.”

Addressing the summit from King Abdulaziz International Convention Center in Riyadh on Sunday, King Salman said “the Iranian regime has been the spearhead of global terrorism since the Khomeini revolt and until today.”

He added: “We have been in this country for 300 years and we never knew terrorism until the Khomeini revolution reared its head in 1979.”

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques said that the Iranian regime and its affiliated groups and organizations such as Hezbollah and the Houthis, as well as ISIS and Al-Qaeda are all similar.

The King accused Tehran of rejecting the initiatives of good neighborhood provided by Arab countries based on good faith.

“Iran replaced these initiatives with expansionist ambitions, criminal practices, interferences in the internal affairs of other countries, flagrant violations of the international law, and violations of the principles of good-neighborliness, coexistence and mutual respect,” King Salman said.

He stressed the need to foil terror financing, adding that Saudi Arabia would never be lenient in sending to justice whoever finances or supports terrorism in any form or under any manifestation as he would be subject to decisive justice.

For his part, President Trump held Iran responsible for “world terrorism,” and called for its isolation by saying: “No discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.”

Trump said that from Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.

“Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran,” Trump said.

Also, the US President called on Muslim-majority countries to take the lead in combatting radicalization.

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities…,” Trump said.