Alhaji M.B Jalloh, Saudi Arabia

Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana

Sierra Leone’s Vice President has described the two days extra-ordinary Islamic Solidarity Summit initiated by the Saudi King as “very successful”, saying it was a sincere gesture from a sincere leader.In a telephone interview shortly after the end of the meeting this morning, Hon. Alhaji Abubakar Sidique Sahr Sam-Sumana lauded, on behalf of His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government and people of Sierra Leone, the initiatives by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to convene the emergency fourth Islamic Solidarity Summit in Mecca.

He described the Saudi King as a man of political farsightedness, sagacity and vision. He also paid tribute to the Saudi monarch for his awareness of the challenges and upheavals facing the Islamic world and his keenness to unite Muslims.

Speaking from the Al-Safa Palace where the summit was hosted, the soft-spoken VP said the summit comes amid critical circumstances witnessed by some Islamic nations.

He said Saudi Arabia’s move as a pivotal country in the Islamic world due to its religious status to host the summit comes in line with its expected role and leverage in the region, expressing the appreciation of his country for the summit.

When asked what were the main issues discussed by the two-day Summit, VP Sumana said the meeting discussed diverse issues, including; the Syrian crisis, the Palestinian cause, the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Afghanistan imbroglio, the political instability in the West African state of Mali, among other important issues surrounding global peace.

On the importance of the summit, the country’s second gentleman said, the Mecca summit will serve as a historic opportunity for boosting solidarity, conciliation and unifying the Muslim ranks.

He also praised the initiative put forward by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to establish a center for dialogue among Muslim sects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Vice President was amongst very prominent world leaders in the summit, including, Turkey’s Abdullah Gul, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Malaysia’s Najib Razak, Jordan’s King Abdallah, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahemdinejad,  Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt’s Muhammad Mursi, Sudan’s Omar Bashir, Senegalese Macky Sall, Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, Tunisia’s Moncef Al-Marzouki, Pakistan’s Asif Ali Zardari, Bangladesh’s Mohammad Zillur Rahman, to name but a few.

Fifty-seven (57) member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), excluding Syria which has been suspended were in attendance. The VP represented His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma and other members of the delegation include, Minister of Internal Affairs, Alhaji Sulaiman Dauda Kamara, Deputy Minister 1 in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Algassimu Jah and the National President of Council of Imams in Sierra Leone, Alhaji Yayah Deen Kamara, among others.

The VP and his accompanying delegation are scheduled to leave the shores of Saudi Arabia today, Thursday, August 16, 2012 and expected to arrive in Freetown tomorrow.

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