2002 News Story

Arab thought foundation conference in Cairo

Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal left Cairo today after a short visit during which he was received by Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak.

He also participated in the first conference of the recently-established Al-Fikr Al-Arabi [Arab Thought] Foundation, addressing the opening session on the relationship between the Arab World and the West. He stressed that Israel's unjust policies are the most notable and dangerous obstacle hindering development of Arab-Western relations, and urged Arabs to work hard to have influence in the areas of thought, culture and media and to be the first to condemn all forms of terrorism, particularly since they have long suffered from it. He called for concerted Arab efforts to correct the path of Arab-Western relations and urged Arabs and Westerners to avoid racism, hate and incitement. In his speech, Governor of Asir Province Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, who is also President of the Foundation, called on the Arab world to abandon their differences and devote their efforts to confronting the challenges facing them. Noting that the Foundation is neither a competitor for nor an alternative to existing organizations, he explained that it aims at stimulating Arab intellectuals and providing a platform for their opinions. Chairman of the Consultative Council [Majlis Al-Shura] Dr. Salih bin Abdullah bin Homaid observed in his speech that most notable among the elements that unifying the Arab world are religion, language and a common history. The conference continues today with sessions on improving Arab education and expanding the concepts of shura and democracy.