Iran must not interfere in internal affairs of its neighbors: Najib Razak

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak

:: US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, and the Arab-Islamic-American Summit held Sunday, witnessed the emergence of a new strategic partnership between the US and Arab and Muslim countries, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told News Agency Monday.

Najib, who attended the summit, said the partnership is not only military, but will also focus on winning hearts and minds via an awareness program to fight terrorism and extremism online.

“A credible narrative needs to be told in which Islam and modernity are compatible. Material progress and religious devotion go hand in hand, and religious knowledge and scientific inquiry reinforce one another,” he said.

“We must emphasize and reinforce our stories so the true Islam is known the world over, while at the same time coordinating to crush Daesh and its allies wherever their malign presence is felt.”

Speaking on the outcome of Trump’s visit to Riyadh, Najib said he is “a pragmatic man who coined the concept of principled realism. He understands that the enemy of the West is not Islam or Muslims, but those who were converted by Daesh and other militant groups via social media to achieve their own ends. We cannot put all Muslims in one basket. The vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people who respect the faiths of other people.”

The world should have no doubt that we stand collectively with the international community in the fight to eradicate this global menace, Najib added.

“We in Malaysia have not flagged in our efforts to combat the spread of radicalism. To this end, my government has promoted the concept of wasatiyyah, which is the Qur’anic injunction toward moderation. I called for the establishment of a Global Movement of Moderation at the UN in 2010, and we have set up a foundation to support that in Kuala Lumpur. Our de-radicalization program has had a remarkable 95 percent success rate in reintegrating former extremists. Malaysia stands ready to share our expertise, just as we have long worked with partners around the world,” including the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and France.

Najib recalled that during the recent visit of King Salman to Malaysia, major agreements were reached, including the establishment of the King Salman Center for International Peace in Kuala Lumpur, which will begin operation next month.

“I am aware that there is a widespread belief here that Iran has contributed largely to the instability in the region. As a country that enjoys and values good relations with countries in the region, Malaysia feels that Iran should and must avoid any action that could be seen as interfering in the internal affairs of its neighbors. This is not only for the sake of regional stability, but also for the unity of the ummah,” Najib said.

He thanked King Salman for initiating the Arab-Islamic-American Summit, and thanked Trump for reaching out to establish a new strategic partnership with the Muslim world to fight violent extremism and global terrorism.

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