May the mercy, peace and blessings of Allah be upon you!
Currently, there are over one and a half billion Muslims in the world. Our Prophet delivered a sermon from sacred Mecca. Currently, all Muslims go there to pray. It is our Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is a country of love and harmony. From the very beginning of its existence, more than 130 years ago when it developed and revealed its Muslim and Arab identity, our Kingdom began to fight against terrorism and extremism around the world, relying on our rich cultural heritage and cooperation with many states, organizations and countries. Our annual meetings certainly contribute to bringing our cultures closer and making them stronger. Thanks to that each country can understand other nations better.
Thus, we oppose extremism and terrorism whatever their source. We believe in the principles of dialogue, thanks to which we established in our country the center of King Abdul-Aziz to conduct dialogue between all interested parties. We continue to develop programs, hold conferences and meetings supported both inside our Kingdom and beyond. Our goal is to hold a major international meeting under the leadership of our King to have dialogue between representatives of different religions and states. Similar meetings took place in Madrid and in New York. As a result of such dialogue we organized a center in the capital of Austria, where we provide programs to strengthen the links between representatives of different religions in order to strengthen their cultural values.
Our meeting today in Russia shows Russia's sincere interest in such dialogue, especially in dialogue between spiritual and religious elites.
In this regard, we should acknowledge Russia’s role and authority in the world. In this sense, relations between Russia and the Islamic world are of special significance. There are more than 25 million Muslims in Russia. Russia was included in the OIC as an observer 10 years ago.
Islamophobia is one of the pressing issues spread by the West, and we want to stress that some statements and actions by certain governments and their leaders lead to rising tensions in the world and have a bad influence on relations between countries.
As a result, it is ordinary people who suffer from this. Islam is a religion of justice and love. As Allah said: “We have created you and have made you nations and tribes so that you would recognize each other”.
God also urged us to address each other with wise words and as it is said in Quran: “If a person kills someone, it is as though he has killed all of mankind”. In this regard, terrorism that we are witnessing in various countries and various forms requires us to unite our efforts in the fight against it. Saudi Arabia is a state that fundamentally fights against terrorism and its threats. We have organized various meetings against this evil – political, public, administrative, ideological and others.
We support all resolutions and decisions by the UN that contribute to strengthening the fight against terrorism.
Moreover, we are conducting a great ideological campaign at the local level, both in the kingdom and beyond, participating in different seminars, conferences, adopting laws that prevent financing and promotion of terrorism. Also, we are implementing a number of security measures to prevent terrorists actions. In December 2015, we convened a special conference of more than 40 Islamic countries. We also established a joint headquarters of the fight against terrorism. According to the UN statistics, Saudi Arabia has the biggest share of its budget allocated for external assistance.
Our Islamic Bank is the largest investor to the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development. Our late King Abdul-Aziz established a special fund that finances activities aimed at supporting the poorest groups of the Muslim population. We used to allocated at least 20% of our budget to this fund.
Honourable brothers! Ladies and gentlemen! There is no doubt that Russia is one of the greatest leading powers. It is due to its territory, population, great industrial and human potential and ethnic diversity and thousand kilometers of common borders between Russia and Islamic countries. Russia demonstrates political wisdom and uses its reach experience of cooperation of various ethnic and religious groups.
I would like to end my speech by wishing our forum to achieve all its noble goals and further strengthen ties that unite Russia with the Islamic world. We wish you peace, stability and security.