A forum on the future of culture in the Arab World, organized by the King Abdulaziz Library in Riyadh in honor of Riyadh as the Cultural Capital for the year 2000, ended its deliberations yesterday by issuing a communiqué underscoring the importance of Islam in Arab culture and calling for openness with other cultures. The communiqué also stressed the role of the private sector, and urged businessmen to contribute to the implementation of cultural projects. The participants called on the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALESCO) to work for a comprehensive plan for Arab culture that conforms with contemporary requirements, and to exert effort to spread Islamic culture and the Arabic language, especially in countries that include Muslim minorities.
On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz received the Arab dignitaries taking part in the forum. In a speech on the occasion, he noted the role of Arab and Islamic culture in the development of scientific knowledge. Turning to developments in the Middle East, he declared that sooner or later Al-Quds [Jerusalem] would be restored as capital of the State of Palestine.