Daily Archives: March 25, 2016

Fethullah Gulen Condemns Brussels Terrorist Attacks

Extends Condolences to Victims

NEW YORK, March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —

The Alliance for Shared Values issued the following statement from Fethullah Gulen on the Brussels terrorist attacks.

I strongly condemn the brutal terrorist attacks at the Brussels International Airport and Metro station on March 22 that resulted in the deaths of more than 30 people and the injuries of hundreds.

Regardless of the perpetrators and their stated purposes, every terrorist attack is a murder and an attack on the sanctity of life itself, and deserves condemnation in the strongest terms. Neither a religion nor any human being with a conscience can condone such cruelty.

Those who carry out such attacks and who support the perpetrators are oblivious to the ethos of the religion that they proclaim, and inflict the biggest damage to the religion’s reputation in the world. Those who consciously perpetrate such acts have lost touch with their very humanity, and do not represent any religious identity.

In addition to the intelligence and security measures taken to prevent individual terrorist attacks, there is a pressing need for cooperation between states and civil society groups to eliminate swamp-like environments and conditions that facilitate recruitment by terrorist groups.

I am confident that leaders in countries with strong democratic and legal foundations, like Belgium, will act with prudence to develop lasting solutions that incorporate their Muslim citizens and avoid feeding into the hateful rhetoric of terrorist groups.

These heinous terrorist attacks have been inflicted not only on the Belgian people but also on the solidarity of humanity and universal human values. I send my deepest condolences to the relatives and loved ones of those who lost their lives, and the people of Belgium. I pray for the fast recovery of the wounded.

On this occasion I also send my condolences and prayers to the citizens of all countries, including my home land of Turkey, who lost their loved ones in recent terrorist attacks.

I pray to God, the Most Graceful, the Compassionate, to save humanity from the scourge of terrorism and spread an atmosphere around the world where people empathically embrace each other.

About Fethullah Gulen
Fethullah Gulen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate, whose decades‐long commitment to interfaith tolerance and altruism has inspired millions in Turkey and around the world. Gulen is the honorary chairman of the Intercultural Dialogue Platform, Brussels, Belgium; Foundation of Journalists and Writers, Istanbul, Turkey; and Rumi Forum, Washington DC.

About Alliance for Shared Values
Alliance for Shared Values is a non-profit that serves as a voice for dialogue organizations affiliated with Hizmet in the U.S. (also known as Gulen movement). The Alliance serves as a central source of information on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet. For more information, please visit www.afsv.org.

Safiye Embel
Tel: +1.212.682.4278 or sembel@afsv.org

President Zuma to lead a South African delegation on a State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Working Visit to the United Arab Emirates

President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-level delegation on a State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 27 March 2016 and a Working Visit to the United Arab Emirates on 28 March 2016.

South Africa and Saudi Arabia enjoy cordial bilateral relations. For many years prior to the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1994, Saudi Arabia took a leading position in the Arab world in opposing the injustices of the Apartheid system.

The State Visit of the President will serve as an important structural catalyst to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations, in particular by strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade and investment and in support of expanding cultural and people-to-people interaction between the two countries.

The State Visit to Saudi Arabia by President Zuma is the third Presidential visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the first State Visit by the late former President Mandela in 1997 and a Working Visit by former President Mbeki in 2007.

Bilateral relations between the two countries are managed through the Joint Economic Commission, which held its 7th session from 14-15 March 2016 in Cape Town, under the leadership of Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his Saudi counterpart, Dr Tawfeeq Al Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry.

To further strengthen trade, investment and economic ties, including Business – to – Business cooperation between the Republic of South Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a substantive business delegation will accompany President Zuma on his State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In March this year, Saudi Arabian firm ACWA Power announced R 15 billion investment in the solar plant project in the town of Groblershoop in the Northern Cape, with the capacity to power more than 200,000 households.

South Africa and the UAE enjoy strong bond of friendship and strategic bilateral relations characterized by the exchange of several high level visits, a high level of trade and economic interaction, multiple daily flights between the UAE and three South African cities and a large South African expatriate community in the UAE.

Total trade between the two countries increased from SA Rand 13 billion in 2011 to R27 billion in 2015. By 2015 a total of 14 FDI projects from the UAE were recorded representing almost SA Rand 3 billion. Between January 2003 and June 2015 a total of 27 FDI projects from South Africa to UAE were recorded, representing a total capital investment of SA Rand 5.06bn ranging from construction, financial, IT services, hospitality and retail.

The visit to the UAE by the President follows the Inaugural Session of the Joint Commission between the Republic of South Africa and the United Arab Emirates held in Abu Dhabi on 30 and 31 August 2015, co-chaired by the Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates, Ms Reem Ebrahim Al-Hashimi and the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

This year, South Africa will host the second SA-UAE Joint Commission aimed at measuring progress in targeted sectors of the bilateral relationship and to manage and direct the implementation of mutually agreed upon bilateral programs.

The objectives of the President’s visit to the United Arab Emirates are to consolidate and elevate the solid and cordial political and economic relations which exist between the respective countries in particular in the commercial, trade and investment sectors, as well as people-to- people and cultural interaction, including the promotion of South Africa as a top global tourism destination for visitors from the Gulf region.

The President will be accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Mr David Mahlobo, Minister of State Security; Dr Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry; Mr Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs and Mr Nkosinathi Nhleko, Minister of Police.


Tanzania: 17 Tanzanians Set for SA Swimming Meet

By Betram Lengama

Seventeen swimmers from the national team are expected to travel on Easter day to South Africa ahead of the Level 1 and 2 Swimming Championship to be held at Ellis Park and Germistone respectively.

The Tanzania Swimming Association (TSA), Secretary General, Ramadhan Namkoveka confirmed to the ‘Daily News’ yesterday of the athletes taking part in both events. “We have been taking part in both events since 2010 because they are reputed to involve quality swimmers,” he said.

Namkoveka said such kind of competition helps to raise the standard of the swimmers, coaches and event management, and TSA expects that the participants will perform well and improves their personal skills.

“We expect our swimmers to use the events to upgrade their personal times in both events as well as clinching some medals,” he disclosed. According to Namkoveka, the South African level two competition will be held from March 28 to 31 at Ellis Park, and the country will be represented by, Adil Bharmal, Amani Dogart, Josephine Oosterhuis, Jacquelene Kortland and Isabella Kortland.

Others are Pieter De Raadt, Celina Itatiro and Marin de Villard who will be under the tutelage of their coaches Michael Livingstone, Alex Mwaipasi and team managers Emma McIntosh, and Inviolata Itatiro while the head of delegation will be the TSA Vice Chairperson Thauriya Diria.

Nakomveka disclosed that most of the swimmers who will take part in the level 2 competition come from Arusha and Dar es Salaam clubs.

“They have promised to make the country proud by doing their best by performing well in the competition,” said Namkoveka. He also added that TSA has increased the number of swimmers in the event.

In 2014 the country was represented by only three swimmers and Shamrrad Magesvaran walked away with two bronze medals. However Nakomveka stressed that the event is not a qualifying event for RIO Brazil 2016.

“But it is still worth for our swimmers to attend as they can get international exposure and swimming in Olympic size 50m pool. Our swimmers need to compete more often from training grounds, nationally and internationally to improve their standard,” he added.