Dialogue best way to promote peace, security: Saudi Shoura chief

Shoura Council President Abdullah Al-Asheikh

:: Shoura Council President Abdullah Al-Asheikh said that the Kingdom, under the leadership of King Salman, believes in dialogue as an effective means to achieve security, peace and prosperity.

Al-Asheikh delivered his speech at the 137th International Parliamentary Union (IPU) assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia, under the theme “Promoting Cultural Pluralism and Peace Through Inter-Faith and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue.”

Al-Asheikh said the Kingdom is seeking to spread a culture of dialogue locally, regionally and internationally, in order to reinforce and promote coexistence, respect, and global peace.

He highlighted the Kingdom’s great efforts espoused by the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue, including periodic meetings to discuss local issues.

The establishment of the King Salman Center for International Peace in Malaysia and the King Salman Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Austria are a result of the Kingdom’s strong belief in the human capacity to make the world a more peaceful place, he said.

He called for concerted international efforts to fight terrorism, issue more laws and regulations against terrorist attacks, fight the terrorist mindset and its financing sources, and create a list of all terrorist organizations and states that support them.

“The Kingdom has never missed a chance to fight terrorism. It even organized the Arab-Islamic-American Summit focusing on ways to eliminate terrorism, and established the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal) in Riyadh,” he said.

Concerning local and international issues, Al-Asheikh confirmed that the Palestinian cause remains one of the Kingdom’s priorities. He called for just and comprehensive peace in Palestine in accordance with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

On the war in Yemen, he stressed that the Kingdom is aware of the suffering of the Yemeni people caused by Houthi militias.

The Kingdom will not waver in its determination to stand beside the Yemeni people, he said. The aid the Kingdom has provided to Yemen in the past few years has reached more than $8 billion allocated through the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid and UN organizations, he added.

Al-Asheikh also said that the Kingdom supports a political solution in Syria.

King Salman also allocated $15 million to help the Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar, and communicated with the Bangladesh government to reopen border crossings for them.

The UAE requested the inclusion of an emergency item in the assembly sessions: The Rohingya humanitarian crisis.

At the 137th IPU Assembly in St. Petersburg, a new president will be elected for a three-year term. The candidates are: Gabriela Cuevas Barron from Mexico and Ivonne Passada from Uruguay.

The IPU has more than 171 Parliament members from around the world and works through an executive committee and four permanent committees: Peace and international security; sustainable development; finance and trade; democracy and human rights; and UN affairs.

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