Saudi King calls for Islamic unity while KSA officials seek US weapons to "stay ahead" of rivals
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz called for Muslim unity and dialogue Wednesday, according to Al-Arabiya. The King's statement ironically coincides with news that Saudi Arabia is seeking US-made weapons amounting to 6.8 billion USD to "stay ahead" of its rival Iran according to the Associated Press.
In his statement, the King particularly called for the establishment of a center for dialogue between Islamic sects in Medina, describing such dialogue interaction as "the best way to unite and understand each other. Our differences should not affect the unity of the Islamic Ummah." The idea for the center was adopted as pat of the Conference of Islamic Solidarity in Mecca during Ramadan this year. The King ended his comments saying that countries should demonstrate mutual respect and friendship regardless of interests and benefits in this era of rivalries according to the report.
At the same time, the Associated Press reported that Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, are planning to spend "billions of dollars" on US military weaponry in order to counteract tensions with their rival Muslim counterpart, Iran. The US Pentagon website stated Tuesday that the Saudi Kingdom was planning to purchase 6.8 billion USD worth of missiles, bomb, launch systems and related equipment, while the UAE was planning to buy a similar set of weapons for up to four billion USD.