Prince Dr. Torki bin Muhammad bin Saud Alkabeer, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Acting Deputy Minister for Political Affairs, and Director-General for International Organizations, met today with the foreign minister of the Republic of Singapore, George Yong-Boon Yeo. Prince Torki is in Singapore as head of the Kingdom’s delegation to the Asia-Middle East Dialogue.
In his address to the conference, Prince Torki commented on the “new dawn of Asian-Middle East cooperation”, pointing out the tripling of trade over recent years and commenting that the social reform programs of the two regions, which share a conservative nature, should reflect their traditional values. Respect for human rights, he said, is a tenet of the Saudi system of governance; and declared that today’s world needs “united international efforts and hard work in order to deepen the concept of dialogue; increase levels of understanding, acquaintance and interaction between nations and civilizations; and introduce a culture of peace that evokes the respect of a human being to his fellow human brother, thereby augmenting the principles of justice, tolerance and equality, and the rejection of violence, injustice and discrimination."
Meanwhile, the Middle East delegates, on the second day of the three-day Singapore conference, urged the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to end their conflict for the sake of peace in the region; while Malaysia called for greater efforts to disassociate Islam and Muslims from terrorism. Palestinian Deputy Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah briefed the delegates, from about 40 nations, on the ongoing violence in the occupied territories. Malaysia's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Salang, pointing out that Malaysia is pushing for more inter-faith dialogue to counter the misperception that Muslims are terrorists, declared that Islam is a major victim of September 11.
The next Asia-Middle East Dialogue is scheduled for 2007 in Cairo, Egypt.