Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Expresses Support for Upcoming “Historic” KAICIID Conference
The Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, visited the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) today. During his visit, Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir expressed his support for a new interreligious dialogue platform for the Arab World, terming it a “historic” development in the region.
The Minister’s visit came following the news of KAICIID’s upcoming conference on “Interreligious Dialogue for Peace: Promoting Peaceful Coexistence and Common Citizenship” to take place on 26-27 February 2018 in Vienna.
The conference will bring together prominent religious leaders from the Arab world, following a series of consultation meetings with religious leaders in the region, building up to the development of a common plan of action that would be implemented under the umbrella of a historic, first of its kind, interreligious dialogue platform for the Arab world.
Minister Al-Jubair commended the Centre’s staff for the progress made since KAICIID’s establishment in 2012, in particular calling for greater interreligious dialogue in a time of global upheaval: “With the move to becoming a global village, there must be a move towards accepting the Other. There is no better basis for reaching out, communicating and accepting the Other, than focusing on the values that are enshrined in all faiths. The more contacts, activities and programmes KAICIID has, emphasizing our common humanity, the more likely we are to overcome the turbulence the world is going through.”
Faisal Bin Muaammar, Secretary General of KAICIID, welcomed the Foreign Minister and his delegation to the Centre, and conveyed a message of thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Crown Prince for their support. He also thanked Minister Al-Jubair for his support for KAICIID’s initiatives.
He thanked the Minister and the government of Saudi Arabia for its continued support for interreligious dialogue and for KAICIID.
“We deeply appreciate Minister Al-Jubair’s continuing support for our work and especially for the launch of the Arab region platform at the end of this month. The support of our Council of Parties is integral to its success. We hope and believe that this platform will contribute to a better future through increased cooperation between religious leaders and policymakers.”
During his visit to the Centre, the Minister participated in an exchange with leading Austrian policymakers and religious leaders, including Dr Dr Peter Schipka, Secretary General of the Austrian Catholic Bishop's Conference; President Ibrahim Olgun, President of the Austrian Islamic Community; Dr. Gudrun Harrer, renowned journalist and regional expert; Professor Susanne Heine, and Professor of Practical Theology and Psychology of Religion at the Protestant Theological Faculty of the University of Vienna; Dr. Paul Wuthe. The discussion focused on how communities in Austria and around the world are fostering greater social cohesion.
The Foreign Minister was accompanied by H.E Ambassador Dr. Khalid Ibrahim M. Al-Jindan, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Austria; H.E. Ambassador Khalid Al Angari, Director of Office to the Minister; H.E. Ambassador Gregor W. Koessler, Ambassador of Austria to Saudi Arabia; Mr. Maged Alabdan, Advisor of the Minister and Mr. Badr Al Mugail, Secretary of the Minister.
The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) is an intergovernmental organization that promotes dialogue to build peace in conflict areas. It does this by enhancing understanding and cooperation between people of different cultures and followers of different religions. The Centre was founded by Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain. The Holy See is the Founding Observer. Its Board of Directors comprises prominent representatives from five major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism). The Board designs and supervises the Centre’s programmes.