- Title: FRANCE: SAUDI ARABIA'S SENIOR ULEMAS ON HISTORIC VISIT TO EUROPE.
- Date: 24th October 1974
- Summary: 1. GV EXTERIOR Elysee Palace 0.05 2. SV Al-Harakan out of car and greeted and entering palace 0.34 3. GV INTERIOR AL-Harakan seated with President Giscard (mute) 0.43 4. SV Saudi Arabia delegates look on (mute) 0.46 5. SV Delegation talking with Giscard d'Estaing (mute) 0.51 6. SV Al-Harakan walks to meet newsmen and speaks Arabic. 1.41 Initials ET/2028 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 8th November 1974 12:00
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA8D7OJE8DETL6BBJL9V97246HR
- Story Text: For the first time in history, a delegation of senior Ulenas have left Saudi Arabia, where the town of Mecca is the centre of Islam. They are on their first visit outside the country and have come to Europe.
The Ulemas ate learned men of Islam and they are accepted as a special class in their country. They are highly respected for their piety, sense of fairness and the purity of their lives.
Apart form religious affairs, these men hold influential positions responsible for a wide range of their country's affairs, ranging from justice to education and sometimes politics. They can have enough influence to depose and proclaim a king.
They have based themselves in Paris for their European visit and are scheduled to meet French President M. Giscard D'Estaing and Minister of Justice M. Jean Lecanuet at the Elysee Palace.
The leader of the Ulema delegation, said Al-Harakan, told newsmen that the central point of their discussions is human rights.
This will be the subject of talks throughout their tour which will also taken them to Rome, where they are to meet President Giovanni Leone, and Pope Paul in the Vatican. They will go on to Geneva and Strasbourg.
The visit was organised by the Franco-Arab Association. It was originally scheduled for April, but had to be postponed because of the death of President Pompidou.
SYNOPSIS: The Elysee Palace in the French capital, Paris, received its first ever delegation of Ulemas -- learned men of Islam -- from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. The delegation made history with their first trip outside their country. Their leader was Said Al-Harakan who had just arrived at the palace. Their European tour was originally scheduled for spring this year. But the death of President Pompidou force it to be postponed.
During the stay in Paris -- their first stop -- they had talks with President Giscard d'Estaing and French Justice Minister Jean Lecanuet. Their discussions centred on human rights... a subject dear to the hearts of the Ulemas.
Later, Said Al-Harakan spoke to newsmen on his talks with the French President. In their country, the Ulemas usually hold important positions, responsible for the affairs of their country ... ranging from justice to education and, sometimes, politics. They can be influential enough to depose and proclaim a king. They are highly respected for their discipline and principles in life. Later the delegates are to visit Rome, where they will meet Italian President Giovanni Leone and Pope Paul in the Vatican. They are also due in Geneva where -- among other things -- they will talk with officials of the International Labour Organisation.
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