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Open a New Page, Saudi King Tells Afghan Delegation

12 Jul 2018 Tolo News

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud met with Afghan scholars attending the two-day peace summit in Jeddah on Wednesday and said that Saudi Arabia is optimistic about a new page in Afghanistan’s peace.

According to the Saudi Gazette, King Salman sounded optimistic that the Afghanistan peace initiative by Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) would open a new page of security and stability in the war-torn country.

"Today, we are optimistic that your efforts would contribute to closing the page of the past and opening a new page in Afghanistan that would help realize the aspirations of the Afghan people for security and stability, and this requires adopting an approach of dialogue, reconciliation and tolerance on the lines of our religion of Islam," King Salman told Afghan dignitaries attending the two-day conference in Jeddah and Mecca, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

In his address, the King said: "You are the best among those who work to serve Islam and Muslims, as well as to unify their words and ranks, and eliminate wars and crises that afflict the Islamic world in addition to the scourges of extremism and terrorism. Almighty Allah honored the Kingdom to serve the Two Holy Mosques and this is what we have always been doing."

King Salman said the Kingdom has felt for the Afghan since the beginning of the Afghan crisis and that the Kingdom has provided humanitarian and economic assistance and exerted continuous political efforts to eliminate division and differences among various Afghan entities. The King thanked them for their efforts and endeavors, wishing the Afghan people every success.

Delivering a speech, on behalf of the OIC and the scholars participating in the conference, OIC Secretary General Yusuf Al-Othaimeen offered his thanks and gratitude to the King for hosting the summit.

The two-day Ulema Conference, which began in Jeddah on Tuesday, ended in Mecca on Wednesday with the adoption of the 'Makkah Declaration.' At the end of the conference, OIC chief Al-Othaimeen said the declaration represents a legitimate road map for finding peaceful resolution of the Afghan crisis.

The declaration called on all the Afghan factions to agree to a ceasefire and start direct peace talks on the basis of the Islamic values of denouncing violence, sedition and division and achieve reconciliation.

"We are urging the Afghan government and the Taliban to agree for a truce and start direct negotiations," the declaration said while emphasizing that national dialogue is the best way to end the strife.

The Taliban issued a statement on Wednesday night and rejected the Saudi summit declaration. They said delegates failed to discuss the “occupation” of US troops in Afghanistan and said the aim of the meeting was to turn Afghanistan into a second Palestine.

Original Link: https://www.tolonews.com/afghanistan/open-new-page-saudi-king-tells-afghan%C2%A0delegation

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