On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Khalid Al Faisal, the Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region, here last evening attended a ceremony held by Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of its founding, under the slogan "United for Peace and Development".
After arrival, Prince Khalid Alfaisal opened the accompanying exhibition by the participating parties. A speech ceremony was held on the occasion.
The speeches were delivered on behalf of the Arab Group, the African Group and the Asian Group. This was followed by a speech by the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Moroccans living abroad, Nouzha El Wafi.
The speakers thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud for patronizing the event. The speakers also thanked Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for the warm welcome and generosity and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen for his efforts in this regard.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered a speech in which he said, "It is my pleasure at the outset to welcome you to your second country, Saudi Arabia, and to convey to you the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, and their wishes for the success of this meeting."
"We are meeting today with pride to observe the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, recalling the pioneer of Islamic solidarity late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud" and other leaders of Islamic countries.
The minister pointed out that the organization has defended the Islamic issues during the past decades, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause, the greatest concern for the Arab and Islamic nation, adding that it is the focus of our attention until the brotherly Palestinian people obtain their inalienable legitimate rights to establish an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. He stressed total rejection of any actions that would prejudice the historical and legal status of Jerusalem.
He stressed that the organization stood in full efforts with the issues of Muslim minorities in non-Islamic countries, the latest of which was to stand by the Rohingya Muslims.
The minister highlighted the OIC's efforts to promote regional and international peace and security.
He explained that the OIC, through its establishment of the Observatory of Islamophobia, seeks to monitor cases of violence and hatred with a view to documenting them, in particular to the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC Member States, and raising global awareness of the clear threat posed by Islamophobia and other discriminatory policies and practices against Muslims.
On the economic and development side, Prince Faisal bin Farhan said that the organization has achieved economic and development successes in cooperation with its specialized institutions such as the Islamic Development Bank as the volume of intra-OIC trade reached about (644) billion USD in 2017, compared to (556) billion USD in 2016, which represents a 15% increase in intra-OIC trade.
The minister praised the work of the Islamic Solidarity Fund, which contributed a great effort in the establishment of projects in a number of Islamic countries, where the number of projects implemented and financed by the Fund during the year 2018-2019, reached forty nine projects worth more than four million US dollars.
The Foreign Minister highlighted efforts by the organization to alleviate poverty and empower women.
The minister said that Saudi Arabia will strive to unify attitudes, motivate and work with Member States and the Secretariat of the Organization to accelerate the achievement of comprehensive reform of the OIC.
The OIC Secretary General, Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, delivered a speech and expressed his appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the President of the Islamic Summit, and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince for their support for the OIC, as well as the Kingdom's active role in the unity of the Islamic Ummah and supporting joint Islamic action and combating terrorism and extremism.
Later, Islamic figures were honored on the sidelines of the ceremony for their significant contributions to the achievement of the OIC objectives.
The ceremony was attended by a number of officials.