Crown Prince addresses 12th Islamic Summit in Cairo

February 7, 2013

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz led the Saudi delegation to the 12th Islamic Summit, which began its works in Cairo yesterday. The meeting was chaired by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and was attended by representatives from 56 countries, including 26 heads of state. The motto of the summit is “The Islamic world: New challenges and a growing opportunity.”

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Salman delivered a speech to the gathering. He focused on the crises in Palestine and Syria, stating, “The conflicts in the Islamic world represent an obsession haunting all OIC member states.”

At the forefront, the Crown Prince said, is the Arab-Israeli conflict. He condemned the continuous expansion of Israeli settlements, as well as the frequent military attacks against Palestinians. “This matter requires all of us to oppose it and intensify efforts to mobilize a unified international stance to mount pressure on Israel in order to halt its aggression,” he said, “We have to work for the resumption of [peace] negotiations in accordance with known international references – the Arab Peace Initiative, the Road Map plan – and ending the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

Addressing another major crisis in the region, Crown Prince Salman called for action in Syria. “The Syrian regime commits heinous crimes, including abusing, torturing, systematic killing and displacing of the Syrian people,” he stated. “These crimes are so provocative to the extent that our silence cannot be justified and sitting hand-cuffed cannot be accepted.” The Crown Prince called upon the international community, particularly the U.N. Security Council, to “take necessary measures and decisions to deter these crimes and violence against the Syrian people and achieve the transfer of power by all possible means.”

However, he warned, if the Security Council fails in its duty to bring about international peace and security by taking action in Palestine and Syria, “We have to turn our backs against it and work to build our capabilities to solve our problems by ourselves.” The Crown Prince noted that Saudi Arabia has exerted a great deal of effort to provide political, financial and moral support to the Palestinians and the Syrians.

In the remainder of his speech, Crown Prince Salman denounced extremism, calling terrorism “an international plague that belongs to no religion and no nationality and a threat that endangers international security and peace.” He also called for action to counter religious hatred, calling on the OIC states to support a Saudi proposal submitted to the U.N. to “issue a resolution condemning any state, group or individual who defame the divine religions or prophets and messengers, including the toughest deterrent punishments of such acts.”

After delivering his speech, the Crown Prince attended a luncheon hosted by President Morsi for heads of state and delegation leaders. The Saudi delegation to the meeting includes Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal; Supervisor of the Crown Prince’s Office Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz; Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh; and Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf.

The summit was concluded today, with the selection of Iyad Madani as the new Secretary General of the OIC.