Crown Prince Salman addresses 25th Arab Summit in Kuwait

March 26, 2014

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz led the Saudi delegation, on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, to the 25th Arab Summit in Kuwait yesterday. The summit was hosted by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and attended by leaders from across the Arab world.

In his address, Crown Prince Sultan stressed the importance of Arab unity and cooperation in the face of a series of challenges threatening the region. “We meet today in the midst of the most extreme critical and sensitive conditions, where the Arab region faces many risks and challenges, which require to be addressed through the concerted efforts to confront all attempts aiming at undermining the security and stability of the Arab countries,” he said. “This matter will be achieved only by strong will, sincere and solid determination and collective coordination to ensure continued unity of visions and harmony of necessary seriousness in dealing with the current challenges.”

The Crown Prince declared that the Palestinian cause remains first among the Arab world’s concerns. The goal, he said, is “achieving a just and comprehensive peace which enables the Palestinian people to recover their legitimate rights in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy [and] the establishment of their independent state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital.” In order to reach this goal, he continued, the international community must stand “firmly against the Israeli practices that undermine any hope to reach the desired peace, including the continuation of Israeli activity in building settlements and the insistence on a Jewish Israel.”

Regarding Syria, the Crown Prince noted the failure of the Geneva II Conference to find a political solution to the three-year-old conflict. He described the “comprehensive destruction throughout Syria, which has gradually been transformed into an open field in which all forms of killing and destruction are practiced at the hands of a repressive regime assisted by outside parties and armed terrorist groups.” Unfortunately, he said, the legitimate Syrian resistance “has been failed by the international community and left as prey to brutal forces, which have prevented the realization of the aspirations of the noble people of Syria to live in freedom and dignity.” Crown Prince Sultan welcomed efforts to alleviate the “awesome humanitarian catastrophe, which has hit nearly half of the population of Syria.” However, he insisted, real progress in ending the conflict “requires a change in the balance of forces on the ground and granting the Syrian National Coalition for the Revolutionary Forces and Opposition what they deserve in terms of support and assistance as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”

Addressing the phenomenon of terrorism, Crown Prince Sultan declared, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia strongly condemns all acts of terrorism from whatever source and will spare no effort on its part to continue to address this abhorrent scourge through the issuance of regulations and procedures criminalizing terrorism and people with deviant thought and organizations that stand behind it.” He warned that extremist violence “has become a source of serious threat to the security and stability of our countries and peoples and also a means to sow chaos, disunity and discord.” Fighting this phenomenon, he said, “requires making collective efforts and taking a unified stance and a common response to this threat to all of us and taking all necessary measures to combat it.”

Touching briefly on other regional topics, Crown Prince Salman congratulated Egypt on its constitutional referendum; welcomed the completion of Tunisia’s constitution; hailed the success of Yemen’s national dialogue; expressed hope regarding the formation of a new Lebanese government; and wished the people of Libya success during their country’s transitional phase.

At the conclusion of the summit today, the Arab leaders issued the Kuwait Declaration, in which they advocated bolstering inter-Arab relations in order to overcome political and security challenges. They also pledged to provide support to Arab countries witnessing political and social transformations. Specifically, the statement strongly supported the Palestinian cause; expressed solidarity with the people of Syria and Lebanon; and rejected any attempts to undermine the stability, independence and territorial integrity of Libya.

The official delegation accompanying Crown Prince Salman included Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal; Chief of the Crown Prince’s Court Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz; Minister of State Dr. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban; Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf; and Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz bin Mohiuddin Khoja.