2000 Speech

Crown Prince Abdullah's address at OIC Summit in Doha

HRH Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard
Address at the
Organization of the Islamic Conference Summit
Doha, November 12, 2000

Crown Prince Abdullah referred to the fact the OIC was established some 30 years ago in the wake of the incident of the conflagration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and declared that the convocation of the current Summit comes at a time when the Muslim World is passing through a similar crisis, saying that the Palestinians are looking to the Summit to yield positive results. Islamic solidarity, he declared, is essential: "What is taking place in occupied Palestine is an Islamic affair as well as an Arab and Palestinian one; it is our duty to support our own causes before asking others to back us. It is our duty to mobilize our potentialities to support justice and right before asking others to do so."

Part of this, he went on to say, is "the preparation of institutions to finance projects for preserving the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem, blocking attempts to change its characteristics, and enabling the Palestinians to get rid of their dependence on the Israeli economy".

Crown Prince Abdullah expressed dismay that some Islamic countries continue to maintain relations with Israel. He went to say that the least to be expected from such countries is to restrict the scope of such relations, and to impose on future dealings with Israel conditions for genuine progress in the peace process. Furthermore, he said, it is essential that the current Summit reiterate that diplomatic relations be severed with any country that moves its embassy to occupied Jerusalem. Moreover, a genuine message to shoulder their responsibilities must be sent to the sponsors of the peace process, Russia and the USA, and also to the European Union. He drew particular attention to the United States in this matter, not only as a country that has been following up the developments of the peace process since its beginning but "in view of its historical adherence to the principles of the liberty of nations and human rights". He reiterated that "a comprehensive and just peace cannot be realized without a guarantee by its sponsors and other influential countries that Israel will adhere to the basis and to the principles of that peace".

Urging Iraq to comply in full with the UN resolutions pertaining to its 1990 aggression against Kuwait, Crown Prince Abdullah called for a strategy to be forged to guarantee no repetition of the invasion of one country into its neighbor as Iraq did against Kuwait. He reiterated the Kingdom's position calling for the preservation of Iraq's independence and unity and for endeavors to lift the economic sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people following the invasion of Kuwait by the forces of Saddam Hussein.

Peace in the Balkans, he said, is fragile, in spite of the Dayton Peace Agreement on Bosnia-Herzegovina. He called for trial of Bosnian war criminals, and hoped the Kosovo peace agreement would lead to genuine and lasting peace and stability.

In the rest of the world, he drew attention to the tragic situation of the Chechen people, who are suffering displacement, killings, atrocities, genocide and suppression by the Russian army. Recalling the Kingdom's and the OIC's efforts to mediate among the warring Afghani factions, he urged them to end the fighting and stop the bloodshed in Afghanistan. He welcomed the results of the reconciliation conference held in Somalia in May 2000 under the patronage of the President of Djibouti. He drew attention to the conflict between Azerbaijan, an OIC member state, and Armenia, calling for the peaceful pullback of Armenian forces from Azari territories. He also drew attention to the military escalation between Pakistan and India over Jammu and Kashmir, expressing support for endeavors to defuse the tension and reach a final peaceful solution to the problems between them. He hoped the peace agreement between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Front would lead to real stability, citing the sporadic fighting between the two parties ever since the agreement was signed.

Crown Prince Abdullah went on to call for enriching the dialogue between civilizations in order to reach a consensus on the concept of human rights, one of today's controversial issues. Saudi Arabia, he said, shares with the OIC the call for efforts to enhance global human rights, ten years after the issue of the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. He rejected the fierce and unjust campaign against the Kingdom by certain non-governmental organizations that criticize the Islamic system under the pretext of advocating human rights, and denounced global violence and terrorism as a practice contrary to Islamic belief and behavior. He recalled the OIC's Anti-Terrorism Treaty, which was signed by Saudi Arabia and other member states.

The Crown Prince went on to review the main characteristics of the economic world of today in terms of the call for openness and globalization; the formation of giant economic blocs; the free flow of capital, goods and ideas; and the opening up of borders. To effect the role of the Islamic Development Bank, he suggested increasing its capital from six to ten billion Islamic dinar. He recalled that Saudi Arabia has pardoned Africa's least developed countries from their debts in order to alleviate their suffering from drought and desertification, and urged the advanced world to live up to its commitments towards the poorest countries.