Saudi minister says detainees were ‘pushing an extremist agenda’

      Published on Sunday, 24 September , 2017      75 Views     
Saudi minister says detainees were ‘pushing an extremist agenda’

A Saudi crackdown on prominent citizens who had been critical of the government targeted people who “were pushing an extremist agenda” and took funding from foreign countries, according to Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia this month arrested a group of clerics, academics and businessmen – many who’d criticized the government or its policies in the past – amid growing speculation that King Salman will abdicate in favour of his powerful son.

Some of those detained had ties to the brand of political Islam that Saudi rulers have long opposed.

“When we expect others to have zero tolerance for extremism and terrorism and incitement, we ourselves will live by this,” Al-Jubeir said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York. “The individuals who were detained were pushing an extremist agenda. They were inciting people, and this was not going to stand.”

Among those detained by authorities were clerics Salman Al-Oudah and Awad al-Qarni – both independent of the official religious establishment – as well as poet Ziad bin Nahit, academic Mustafa Al Hassan and businessman Essam Al Zamil, according to Twitter posts and interviews with relatives and friends.

Bloomberg was unable to independently verify their detention and the government’s Center for International Communication has not responded to requests for comment.

“We found that a number of them were working with foreign countries and receiving funding from foreign countries in order to destabilize Saudi Arabia,” Al-Jubeir said, without naming the detained. “When the investigations are concluded we will release the information.”

Al-Jubeir maintained the kingdom’s tough stance on Qatar, its neighbour to the east. The country is engaged in an extended feud with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt that shows little sign of abating.

“Qatar has to stop supporting terrorists, stop financing terrorists, stop providing safe harbor to people implicated and wanted for terror financing,” Al-Jubeir said.

He also came down hard on Iran, Saudi Arabia’s longtime arch rival.

“Iran is a country that’s on a rampage. It’s the number one state sponsor of terrorism,” he said. “Iran is a huge threat to all of us in the region and unless it changes its policy our region will always be troubled.”

Asked about the kingdom’s commitment to Saudi Vision 2030, a blueprint announced last year to diversify the economy away from oil, Al-Jubeir said the government has taken tangible steps toward implementing the plan.

“We had no entertainment – now we have music concerts, we have theater, we’re building an opera,” he said. “We changed our laws where we now give companies direct licensing to have retail operations in Saudi Arabia. We have diversified the investment portfolio of our Public Investment Fund, which is our sovereign wealth fund, so we invest more outside Saudi Arabia.”

“These are things that are noticeable,” he said.

Category Government | 2017/09/24 latest update at 1:00 AM
Source : | Photocredit :
Comments Add comment

Related Articles

The editorial staff of Saudi Arabia Today would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Saudi Arabia and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Saudi Arabia Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and the world.

Sponsored Publications

STEP Conference To Make Its Mark In Saudi Arabia In March
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia news

STEP Conference To Make Its Mark In Saudi Arabia In March

STEP Conference is getting all set to launch its first summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on…

Oman tourists expected to rise to 3.5m by 2023

Saudi Arabia new rules

Property prices continue to fall in key UAE markets

King Salman receives Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker in Riyadh King

King Salman receives Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker in Riyadh

King Salman received Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and other members of the Assembly at Al-Yamamah Palace…

Saudi Arabia: King Salman welcomes Lavrov to Riyadh Gulf TV, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia: King Salman welcomes Lavrov to Riyadh

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud received Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Russian delegation…

Saudi king meets Russian foreign minister in Riyadh King

Saudi king meets Russian foreign minister in Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Riyadh on Tuesday, footage on the Russian…

King Salman receives dignitaries in Riyadh King

King Salman receives dignitaries in Riyadh

The Kingdom’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, senior scholars, ministers and a group of citizens called on…


Popular in GULF TV

PIRELLI “DREAMING” – THE CAL 2019 making of Full Version | Fashion Channel


A photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one…

Latest videos in GULF TV





Science & Technology