2003 News Story

Crown Prince Abdullah addresses Tenth OIC Summit in Putrajaya

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, in his address in Putrajaya, Malaysia today to the Tenth Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), attributed the current crisis of the Muslim world to disorder in both the economic and the political spheres, and declared: "We need to work bravely and wisely to tackle this crisis." Extremism, he said, leads to terrorism, and runs counter to the teachings of Islam, which advocate mercy, tolerance and kindness. He labeled those who kill innocent people with guns as deviants who have failed to properly understand Islam, and urged the OIC Summit to take appropriate measures to confront extremism and terrorism, correct wrong concepts, and clarify the facts for young Muslims by expanding the authority of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council, an OIC affiliate.

Crown Prince Abdullah attributed the prevalent economic disorder to the failure of Muslim countries to keep up with the swift changes in the global economy, and to their failure to liberate their economies for rapid growth and the creation of job opportunities for young people, declaring: "It is not the responsibility of this Summit to set up economic plans for Muslim countries, but it can positively contribute to accelerating the wheel of development through encouraging trade exchange among Muslim countries in a manner that meets the aspirations of all." He proposed boosting the financial resources of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) that are allocated for trade among Muslim countries, and declared Saudi Arabia would be the first to extend financial support for this.

As regards political disorder, Crown Prince Abdullah cited Muslim countries' failure to solve problems amongst themselves as well as difficulties with non-Muslim countries. He affirmed that the Muslim world is one of peace and not violence, of cooperation and not confrontation, of friendship and not conflict. Other people, he said, hold wrong ideas about Islam and Muslims; he went on to propose the formation of a committee of not more than five members, constituted from the heads of the delegations present, to be called the 'Islamic Committee for Peace', which would be assigned to tackling these outstanding problems.

On the Palestinian issue, Crown Prince Abdullah denounced the repressive measures of Israel's occupying forces against the Palestinians, in spite of their alleged adherence to the option of peace and to the 'Roadmap' that was endorsed by the international community. He urged the Summit to extend moral and material support to the Palestinian people in order to enable them regain their legitimate rights, notably that of establishing their independent state with Al-Quds [East Jerusalem] as its capital. He urged the international community to extend strong support to the Syrian and Lebanese people who are also facing the menace of Israeli aggression.

On Iraq, Crown Prince Abdullah observed that that country is passing a painful transitional period following the collapse of the former regime, and support should be extended to it unwaveringly in order to enable it to overcome its ordeal and return to being a free and independent Arab and Muslim country, with its people living peacefully and in harmony with their neighbors.

In his speech yesterday, OIC Secretary-General Abdelouahed Belkeziz praised the Kingdom's great attention to the organization, as well as warning against extremism and fanaticism, urging the United Nations to play an effective role in Iraq, condemning Israel's policy of intransigence, deploring Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, and announcing the dispatch of OIC delegations to the disputed areas of Jamu and Kashmir.

In the communiqué issued today, the OIC Summit called for accelerated transition of power in Iraq from U.S. occupying forces to an Iraqi government, stressing the right of the Iraqi people to determine their own political future and declaring that the United Nations should play a central role in that process. The communiqué condemned terrorism in all its forms; and declared that Israel's air strike on Syria constitutes a serious escalation in the Middle East that endangers peace and security both regionally and internationally. Also in the 106 points adopted in the communiqué were condemnation of Israel's threats against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, its incursions into Palestinian land, and the construction of the dividing fence; concern at the situation in Afghanistan; and dismay at the collapse of World Trade Organization talks.