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4248His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, inaugurated the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) with a call for solidarity among Muslims.

The opening event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was the 39th Annual Meeting of the IDB Board of Governors, which marked the start of five days of accompanying meetings and symposia lasting from 22-26 June 2014.

HRH Prince Salman, who hosted the first meeting of the IDB Board of Governors forty years ago when he was the Governor of Riyadh, called on the entire Muslim nations to support each other and remain united, stating: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working to achieve solidarity among Muslim nations based on the principles of the Holy Quran where Allah said we should be united and not to be divided.”

“My brother, the late King Faisal, was dedicated to enhancing that solidarity, which was further strengthened during one of the summits of the OIC here in Saudi Arabia,” Prince Salman told the participants at the opening ceremony, adding: “Islamic countries are facing challenges which require ambitious strategy in order to restore economic development and the government of Saudi Arabia is ready to contribute to this endeavor.”

The Crown Prince went on to state that the agencies of the IDB play an important role in promoting Islamic solidarity by coordinating activities for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah.

After thanking the Crown Prince for his support, Dr Iyad Madani, Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), continued by saying: “The OIC appreciates the steps taken by the IDB in bringing economic development to IDB member countries and adopting the resolution of the OIC on poverty alleviation”.

In his speech during the opening ceremony, the President of IDB, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali,

warmly welcomed the Crown Prince to Jeddah and expressed his appreciation of the great efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in enhancing cooperation on development issues between the IDB and member countries.

Dr Ahmad Ali also thanked the 56 member countries for their trust on IDB, stating that the AAA rating maintained by the bank since 2007 and the growth of its authorized capital from US $3 billion to US $150 billion is a testimony of the support of the member countries.

During the opening ceremony Dr Ahmad Ali received the King Abdullah Award in recognition of his dedicated service to the Muslim Ummah and for making the Saudi Arabian government proud of his achievements at the Islamic Development Bank.

Presenting the award on behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz thanked Dr Ahmad Ali for serving Islam as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His Royal Highness also thanked the entire IDB staff and member countries for their contribution to the development of the Muslim Ummah.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony, the Saudi Minister of Finance and the Chairman of IDB Board of Governors, Dr Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, thanked the Crown Prince for gracing the occasion and providing support to IDB.

He went on to say: The “IDB has grown immensely and has become one of the most important institutions that enhances Islamic finance and brings development to member countries. We have seen many changes because of the efforts of the IDB, which are extended not only to Muslim countries but to non-Muslim countries as well.”

Dr Ibrahim then thanked Dr Ahmad Ali for leading the IDB with wisdom and diplomacy and stated: “It is because of his distinguished leadership and contribution to Muslim countries that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz gave the order to grant Dr Ahmad Ali the King Abdullah Award,” at which point the audience broke into a resounding ovation.

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