(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia's support of Islamic solidarity and its continuous attempts to reconcile between Muslims and unite their word is part of the method of serving Islam.
Since its foundation, the Kingdom took great responsibilities toward the people of the Arab and Muslim lands and toward humanity. The country's government contributed in the foundation of four international, Islamic and Arab political organizations. It was one of the founding members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 1969, Gulf Cooperation Council in 1981 and the Arab League in 1945, and was one of the 51 founding members of the United Nations in the same year.
Saudi Arabia supported these organizations' conventions and the development of their institutions and activities with its leaders believing in its role regionally and internationally. Supporting and having an effective role in founding the most important organizations, was a concern of all successive leaders of the country since its founder King Abdul Aziz Aal Saud.
Saudi Arabia's relief and assistance activities started with its foundation when King Abdul-Aziz set rules for humanitarian work in the country. In 1950, the first Saudi relief went to the then-flood-hit Punjab province in Pakistan. At that time the country had limited resources needed huge funds to build its infrastructure.
In 1952 in Al-Quds in Palestine, the Saudi government built a free-hospital and a school for 500 pupils that offered comprehensive care including medical treatment and social services in addition to education. For the school King Abdul-Aziz allocated an annual amount of 100,000.
King Abdul Aziz had a firm stance in terms of strengthening Arab solidarity, solving differences and defending Islamic and Arab worlds' causes topped by the Palestinian issue and Al-Quds. He set the pillars for Saudi policy that is based on transparency and balance; a policy which his sons followed after him.
The Muslim World League was founded in 1962 during the reign of King Saud, when Muslim countries' leaders met in Makkah in an Islamic Conference.
When King Faisal ascended the throne, his efforts led to the convention of the first Islamic conference in Morocco, to include executive steps toward cooperation in economic, scientific and cultural fields. King Faisal is the pioneer of Islamic solidarity in late modern history.
In 1975, the Saudi government established the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to financially serve international development issues and developing countries especially Muslim ones. The Fund's capital was doubled twice over time. From its establishment in 1975 to 2010, the SFD signed loan agreements worth more than SR 33 billions benefited by 43 countries in Africa, 27 in Asia and seven in other parts of the world.
Saudi Arabia's support to Arab and Muslim countries' economies is a model in terms of Arab and Muslim integration. Reportedly, the country provided a third of Arab development assistances during the 1970s and 1980s by being the source of 64 percent of Gulf Cooperation Council's aids. Arab countries were the recipients of about half of Saudi international assistances.
The Kingdom has been supporting the rights of the Palestinian people and the Arabian identity of Al-Quds. It was the first Arab country to provide Palestine's Western Bank municipalities with more than 70 million to help build the region's infrastructure, and it was the only Arab country to have met its commitments toward the Palestine Liberation Organization by 1987, which amounted to about 855 million, as announced during the Arab league in Baghdad that same year.
When civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975, Saudi Arabia received Lebanese people in the Kingdom with care and concern, and exerted huge diplomatic efforts to end the conflict. It supported the Lebanese people's resilience during the crisis and in their confrontation with Israel in the south. Lebanese rivals at the time met eventually in Saudi Arabia and signed the National Reconciliation Accord in 1989, which ended the war. When Israel invaded the south of Lebanon in 1982, Saudi Arabia airlifted huge quantities of goods, medications, ambulance vehicles and other assistances.
During two decades under late King Fahd rule, Saudi Arabia's assistance through bilateral, regional and international channels amounted to SR 245 billion. King Fahd ordered to increase the capital of the Islamic Development Bank by 9 billion, and the country also contributed with SR 50 million for the building of the bank's headquarter in Jeddah.