Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal, speaking today at the 25th meeting of the foreign ministers of the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), commended the opening address of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Ibn Khalifa Al-Thani as clearly reflecting a noble message and providing enlightening guidance for their deliberations, and expressed confidence that they would find successful solutions to develop cooperation among Muslim states based on right, justice and peace.
Prince Saud also underlined the necessity for the Muslim world to oppose Israel's practices until the Palestinian people have recovered their usurped rights and established an independent state on their own soil with Jerusalem as its capital, and affirmed that Israeli procrastination in its withdrawal from the Golan Heights, southern Lebanon, and the western Baka'a, are against the letter and spirit of the ratified accord aimed at achieving a real and lasting peace in the Middle East. He called on Israel to fulfil its commitments and obligations; to implement the accord signed with the Palestinian National Authority, especially concerning redeployment in the west bank; to embark on the final stage of the negotiations; and to resume talks with Syria. Prince Saud called on the two sponsors of the peace process to exert greater efforts to free it from stalemate, and urged the European Union to intensify its role to avoid its failure.
Turning to Iraq, Prince Saud reiterated the Kingdom's stance calling for the necessity of Iraq's compliance with the security council's resolutions, while preserving Iraq's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Prince Saud welcomed the agreement signed between Iraq and the UN, the resolution allowing Iraq increased oil revenues, the enhancement of the oil-for-food program, and alleviation of the Iraqi people's suffering.
As for Bosnia-Herzegovina, he stated that peace there needs the international community's support, and stressed the importance of arresting and trying war criminals. He described the ethnic cleansing, racial and religious discrimination which the Muslims in Kosovo are subjected to as violations of sacred values and a threat to security and peace in the Balkans and the entire world.
Prince Saud expressed sorrow at the ongoing fighting in Afghanistan and urged the leaders of the Afghani factions to reach an agreement to end the bloody conflict in order to preserve the unity and the regional and national safety of their country. He also called upon the leaders of the Somali factions to work to save their country and people and put aside their disagreements in order to restore peace and stability to the region.
Describing the phenomenon of violence and international terrorism as a clear deviation from the tolerant teachings of Islamic law, and a violation of Muslims' values, traditions, and heritage, Prince Saud called for greater progress in finalizing an Islamic agreement for combating it.
Prince Saud ended by reiterating his confidence that the conference would provide a valuable opportunity to discuss a number of issues and coordinate the stability and prosperity of all Islamic countries.