King Abdullah's statement at the Arab Economic Development and Social Summit

January 19, 2009

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz address to the Arab Economic, Developmental and Social Summit, Kuwait, January 19, 2009

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Praise be to Allah, prayer and peace be upon the last of the Prophets and Messengers.

Your Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Emir of the State of Kuwait, Chairman of the Summit,

Honorable audience,

Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you.

We hope as do all the peoples of the Arab nation that this economic summit will result in clear-cut and promising outcomes that would ensure the security and prosperity of every Arab and Muslim across the world.

Despite the importance of the economy it pales beside life itself and human dignity without which life is not worth living. We have witnessed over the past days bloody, painful and brutal scenes and genocide being carried out by a criminal, inhuman, and merciless gang as the world listened and watched. The murderers and their supporters forgot that the Torah said "an eye for an eye"; the Torah did not say "an eye for the eyes of an entire city."

Israel must realize that the choice between peace and war will not be available all the time, and that the Arab Initiative on the table today will not be on the table for ever.

Dear brothers,

We do salute Gaza's martyrs, heroes, and steadfast resistance, and salute those who have exerted efforts and thoughts to stem the bloodshed, especially our brothers in Egypt under the leadership of President Hosni Mubarak.

Honesty entails that we say to our brothers in Palestine that discord among them is more threatening to their cause than the Israeli aggression, and I would like to remind them of the fact that Allah has linked victory to unity and defeat to dispute when he said "And hold fast all together by the Rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves."

My brothers, leaders of the Arab states,

I have to be candid and honest with myself and you, and say that our political disputes have led us to discords and divisions and rendered our will shattered. These disputes have helped and are still helping our treacherous Israeli enemy and whoever seeks to sow discord within the Arab ranks and take full advantage of promoting their regional goals at the expense of our unity, dignity and aspirations.

We, leaders of Arab states, with no exception of any of us, are fully responsible for the current weakness in our position. I plead to you in the name of Allah and then in the name of the martyred of our children, women and the elderly in Gaza; in the name of the blood unjustly shed in Palestine, in the name of dignity, in the name of our peoples who have despaired; I plead to you, myself included, to overcome our wounds and divisions and to discredit our enemy's opinions about us and to take up a dignified position which history will not forget and of which our nation will be proud.

Allow me to announce on behalf of all of us that we have surmounted the era of division and that we have opened the door for an Arab fraternity and unity for all Arabs with no exception or reservation, and that we will face the future renouncing our differences as one solid cemented structure, holding fast to the Holy verse "Fall into no dispute, Lest ye lose heart and your power depart."

Dear brothers, before I conclude my speech, and on behalf of your brothers, the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I announce the contribution of $1 billion to the Gaza reconstruction program proposed by the summit, realizing at the same time that a single drop of Palestinian blood is far more precious than the treasures of the earth combined.

May God's peace and blessings be upon you all.