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Why Saudi Arabia Fails to Topple Kuala Lumpur Summit?

Updated on December 18, 2019

Saudi Arabia has failed to thwart a summit of leaders of Islamic states launched yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, despite its boycott and warning through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which was held outside its cloak, that such meetings are "a weakening of Islam and Muslims". Riyadh has mobilized its various tools to thwart the summit, which has reached the limit of its description as "the summit of the bad", but Mahathir Mohamad was able to gather leaders and representatives from 20 countries, quietly declaring: We are not a substitute for you, but you are losers, and this is the subject..!

Saudi Arabia's escalating attack on Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has not deterred the kingdom from continuing to defy the kingdom by insisting on bringing together leaders of Islamic countries in a summit that began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and was boycotted by Riyadh. Saudi anger has been evident in recent weeks, amid indications that Riyadh is concerned about the formation of a parallel, or even an alternative, bloc for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which could result in a political front that is deterring the kingdom's fragile influence in the Muslim world. Perhaps most sensitive lysing Saudi Arabia is the fact that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad, along with Hamas representatives, are the most prominent attendees at the Kuala Lumpur summit.

Mahathir, who has finally expressed his "frustration" at the OIC's inability to form a unified front for Islamic action, appears to have won a round against Saudi Arabia, and was able to bring together leaders and representatives from 20 countries who arrived in the Malaysian capital yesterday, despite his call for all OIC member states Cooperation, numbering 56, to participate in a forum for Islamic affairs concludes on Saturday. For its part, Riyadh was able to dissuade the Pakistani prime minister from attending the summit, after he was one of the main instigators of the meeting alongside Mahathir and the Turkish president. At a welcoming dinner for his guests, Mahathir announced that the summit aims to "do something" to improve the lives of Muslims and overcome the phenomenon of Islamophobia in the world, alluding to Saudi Arabia by saying that "we need to find a way to address our shortcomings and rely on non-Muslims to protect ourselves from the enemies of Islam", Mahathir, meanwhile, sought to reassure Riyadh in a statement issued in defense of the summit, where he made it clear that there is no intention to form a "new bloc as suggested by some critics". Adding that "the summit is not a platform to discuss religion and religious affairs, but to discuss the conditions of the Islamic nation", adding that it "tries to Launch ing a new approach to the cooperation of the Islamic nation". He continued, in a comment on his call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz yesterday, that "it is better for Saudi Arabia to continue to play its role", because "Malaysia is too small to speak the role in question... The summit aims to find new solutions for the Islamic nation". "King Salman thinks that issues of concern to the Islamic nation are better discussed in meetings of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation than by a small portion of the organization's members", he said. If Saudi Arabia organizes any summit to discuss the same thing, we are ready to attend".

The Kingdom, which fears increased diplomatic isolation in its surroundings, immediately announced the organization of the summit attacked it through its media, as well as through social media sites, where it launched its "electronic flies" and named "Summit of The Bad", dedicated to attacking the Kuala Lumpur, which Riyadh fears will be used to harm its status and organization, which has proven to be ineffective year after year. According to a Saudi source who spoke to Reuters, the Saudis are "very concerned" about the summit, expressed especially by the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Yusuf al-Athimin, criticizing the summit, considering in an interview with Sky News Arabic that "it is not in the interest of the Islamic nation to hold such a Summits and meetings outside the organization. Especially at a time when the world is witnessing multiple conflicts, and such meetings undermine Islamic solidarity. "Any weakening of the OIC is a weakening of Islam and Muslims", he said. In the same context, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, on his Twitter account, referred to "the confirmation of the Saudi King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the importance of joint action within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, unlike those who tried to control it, and when he failed to try to destroy it and split its ranks now", wondering "Which summit is its presence most important for the benefit of our peoples? The Summit of the Cooperation Council in Riyadh or a mini-summit in the far reaches of the earth?" For his part, Dubai Deputy Police Chief Dahi Khalfan said that he expressed his conviction that "an Islamic summit without saudi Arabia without a summit", adding that "successive apologies" confirmed the validity of this position. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted that "weakening the OIC is not in the interest of the Islamic world and its countries, and the policy of interlocutors towards the organization and its members is short-term and does not have wisdom, unanimity and unity of the word, despite the difficulty of Sometimes it's more influential than selective axes and fragmentation, and the days will prove it right".

A Lost Friend with Riyadh

Since returning to prime ministership in Malaysia in the middle of last year, the 94-year-old Mahathir Mohamad has not developed relations with Riyadh, which did not expect the opposition party to "resurrect" its policies, and its landslide victory over its ally Najib Abdul Razzaq. Mahathir, who has finally returned to politics after a 15-year absence, is one of the strongest opponents of Saudi aggression against Yemen and appealed to the kingdom in November 2017, calling on its rulers to be merciful to all the innocent of unarmed Yemen, because "the whole world is heartened by the tragedy" and called this war "brutal against the Yemeni people". In mid-2016, saudi Arabia was not an appropriate partner for Malaysia in promoting moderation in the Muslim world or in the fight against terrorism. It was not surprising, therefore, that Mahathir would take Saudi Arabia out of the Islamic Alliance he spoke about during his visit to Turkey last July, which includes, along with Kuala Lumpur and Ankara, and Islamabad.

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