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 » Director-General meets King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia
04.05.2017 - ODG

Director-General meets King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia


On 4 May, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, met with His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The meeting took place in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Director-General commended the longstanding cooperation between UNESCO and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and thanked the King for the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest. She commended the King for his efforts to lead peace and democracy in the Kingdom and for his reform efforts, in particular in the field of education, in the context of Vision 2030. “Culture and education are the tools to help the convergence of people around the same values," declared His Majesty.

Ms Bokova further underlined the commitment of the Kingdom to inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, which is reflected in the establishment at UNESCO of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Programme for Culture of Peace and Dialogue and the strong cooperation with the King Abdulaziz Centre for National Dialogue (KACND). She underscored that "the critical role of the Organization to respond to extremists who want to destroy the values of living together". 

In this context, His Majesty highlighted that his objective is to "encourage interfaith dialogue and cooperation among people and will spare no effort so that interfaith values could spread". 

The Director-General also expressed great satisfaction with regard to the cooperation with the Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK) and in particular for their hosting of the 7th International Forum of NGOs this week in Riyadh under the theme "Youth and their social Impact".  It is the first time that the Kingdom hosts the UNESCO-NGO Forum, which showed a record attendance of some 2000 people representing 70 countries across continents. 

The Director-General also referred to the active role of the Kingdom in supporting UNESCO’s efforts in education in countries in conflict, in particular in Jordan and Lebanon for Syrian refugees.

His Majesty reiterated his commitment to support UNESCO’s activities highlighting that "the mandate of the Organization is of interest to the entire world”. He also commended the leadership of the Director-General and assured her that "the Kingdom will continue to enhance its strategic cooperation".

The bilateral meeting was also attended by the newly appointed Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO, Dr Ibrahim Al Balawi, as well as several dignitaries.

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