A Statement by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has been made the official document of the Arab Islamic American Summit held on 21st May 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Summit aimed to establish a new partnership between Muslim nations and the United States to fight against the menace of violent extremism and terrorism, and promote the values of tolerance, coexistence and stability.
In his Statement, the President remarked that the leaders present at the Summit have a collective duty to promote the values of tolerance and urged to bolster efforts to ensure peaceful coexistence. He emphasised that the Maldives condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and highlighted on the importance of addressing social grievances such as disillusionment, injustice and alienation that drive young people towards extremism. Extremist views, in the words of the President, cannot be beaten by violence but has to be challenged with counter-narratives that address grievances and the broader contextual conditions conducive to the spread of fear and violence.
He further noted that the Arab-Islamic nations are unfortunately at the epicentre of today’s debate and that terrorist activities carried out in the name of Islam continue to tarnish the name and image of our religion as one of peace, compassion, harmony, tolerance, justice and unity. Noting that contemporary security challenges involve transnational criminal networks that are difficult to trace and locate, the President called for reinforcement of cross-border intelligence sharing and management. At the same time, he solicited enhancement of legal and military counter-terrorism measures taken by the United Nations and to promote social cohesion over exclusion.
The Arab Islamic American Summit was chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin AbdulAziz Al-Saud. It was attended by leaders of Islamic countries and the President of the United States, H.E. Donald Trump.