KUALA LUMPUR: Dialogue (hiwar) is needed to promote advance and progress among Muslim countries, says Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
"Dialogue should be further promoted to correct misunderstandings about Islam, and as a way to understand one another, to cooperate despite our differences, and to engage in the healthy pursuit of excellence.
"The Quran maintains that the primary goal of dialogue is to promote the common good – al-khayra – for all of humankind," he said in his royal address at the opening ceremony of the KL Summit 2019 held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre near here on Thursday (Dec 19).
The King said that while Muslim countries had contributed greatly to the world, they should expand unified efforts to benefit the wider ummah, the collective community of Muslims.
"Islamic countries have come a long way, with great achievements. Yet we are confronted by some of the most difficult challenges of the developing world.
"Many segments of our communities are still victims of poverty and underdevelopment, basic necessities and food remain elusive to many.
"Perhaps the time has come for us to broaden our individual efforts to transcend towards the wider ummah," he said, urging for the Muslim countries to rebuild the Islamic civilisation.
Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah also graced the opening ceremony.
Also present were Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani.
Themed "The Role of Development in Achieving National Sovereignty", the conference will be discussing issues such as Islamophobia, the incarceration of Muslims around the globe and mass migration of Muslims due to civil wars.
The conference, held from Dec 18 to Dec 21, is expected to host 450 delegates – comprising intellectuals, politicians and leaders – from 56 countries of the Islamic world.
Discussions at the meeting will be framed by seven main thrusts, namely national development and sovereignty; integrity and good governance; culture and identity; justice and freedom; peace, security and defence; trade and investment; as well as technology and Internet governance.
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