Saudi Arabia confirms commitment to peace-building at UN forum

Saudi envoy to UN, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, emphasizes the need for the UN to play a more active role in building peace. (File photo)
Updated 27 April 2018

Saudi Arabia confirms commitment to peace-building at UN forum

  • Saudi Arabia is committed to fundamental principles that are at the forefront of the task of building and maintaining peace, says KSA envoy to the UN
  • Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi made the assertion during a peace-building and peace-keeping event on Thursday at the UN General Assembly

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia affirmed its commitment to the principles of peace-building and its emphasis on justice in its international dealings and efforts to resolve conflicts peacefully.

The statement at a peace-building and peace-keeping event on Thursday at the UN General Assembly in New York was delivered by Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi.

“My country is committed to fundamental principles that are at the forefront of the task of building and maintaining peace. My country asserts that the basic pillar of peace-building and maintaining peace is achieving justice. Without justice, peace cannot flourish, even if periods of non-violence prevailed,” Al-Mouallimi said.

He added: “The first example of peace that is still out of reach because of the lack of justice is the Palestinian cause, where the Palestinian people have been under occupation for decades without any hope that these people will be able to obtain their legitimate rights to establish their independent state on the borders of the fourth of June 1967 with its capital Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

“My country has always endeavored to resolve disputes peacefully, and in this regard has made the initiative one after the other. In the Palestinian cause, my country has advanced the Arab peace initiative adopted by the Arab states at the Arab Summit in Beirut in 2002. On the Yemeni issue, my country led the peace process of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative, which led to a peaceful transition to power before the Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, seized power.

“In Syria, my country united the opposition in preparation for serious negotiations with the Syrian government to implement the Geneva 1 statement and Security Council Resolution 2254, and in Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Iraq and elsewhere, my country has raised the banner of peace and harmony among brothers and has worked to bring the various parties closer together.

“My country has also promoted a culture of dialogue, mutual understanding and tolerance internally and externally. It has established national and international centers such as the  King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND), the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI), King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), the UN Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCCT), and others.”

Al-Mouallimi said: “We emphasize the need for the UN to play a more active role in building peace and consolidating its foundations by promoting sustainable development, especially in developing countries, and by working closely with regional and subregional organizations and supporting their abilities to achieve peace and avoid conflicts.”

He added: “We hope that your meeting will adopt a work program that includes these elements and emphasizes achieving justice and development, which are the cornerstones of international security and peace.”


Turkey hikes interest rate for first time since 2018

Updated 4 min 40 sec ago

Turkey hikes interest rate for first time since 2018

  • The bank said the one-week repo rate would go from 8.25 percent to 10.25 percent
  • The coronavirus pandemic has forced nations worldwide to cut rates to revive their stalled economies

ANKARA: Turkey’s central bank raised Thursday its main interest rate for the first time since September 2018, boosting it by two percentage points to haul the lira up from historic lows.
The bank said the one-week repo rate would go from 8.25 percent to 10.25 percent.
The lira gained around one percent in value against the US dollar within minutes of the announcement, after touching a record low of 7.71 earlier in the day.
“Massive surprise, and positive,” said Timothy Ash, an analyst at BlueBay Asset Management.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced nations worldwide to cut rates to revive their stalled economies.
But Turkey has been burning through its hard currency reserves to support the lira, which has lost nearly 22 percent of its value against the dollar this year and is one of the world’s worst performing emerging market currencies.
The Moody’s ratings agency estimated on Monday that Turkey’s hard currency reserves were now at a 20-year low.
A central bank statement said it “decided to increase the policy rate by 200 basis points to restore the disinflation process and support price stability.”
Inflation edged up to 11.77 percent in August from 11.76 percent in July but it has remained stubbornly in the double digits in the past few years.
This means that Turkey is running a negative real interest rate, where bank deposits and bonds lose value over time, forcing investors out of the market and Turkish nationals to convert their liras into dollars or euros.
The bank last increased its main rate in September 2018 from 17.75 percent to 24 percent owing to a currency crisis caused by tense relations with the United States.
But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opposes high rates, once describing them as “the mother and father of all evil,” and called for them to be lowered to stimulate growth.
Erdogan last year sacked the bank’s governor and appointed Murat Uysal, under whose direction the rate has been cut nine times.
Ash said the rate decision “suggests the (bank) listened to the market and decided they had to move to avoid a disorderly devaluation and potential balance of payments crisis.”
“They are not out of the woods yet, but they have given themselves a fighting chance.”