Saudi calls for extraordinary Muslim summit

Saudi Arabia has called for an extraordinary summit of Muslim leaders to be held next month to address risks of "sedition" threatening Muslim countries, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

Saudi King Abdullah has called for "an extraordinary Islamic solidarity meeting to ensure … unity during this delicate time as the Muslim world faces dangers of fragmentation and sedition," SPA quoted Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal as saying.

King Abdullah wishes to convene the summit in mid-August in a bid at "unifying the ranks" of Muslims, the report said. There were no further details concerning the agenda of the meeting.

But the announcement comes amid a spike in deadly violence across Syria, where more than 19,000 have been killed since an uprising erupted in March 2011 against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia and the other energy-rich Sunni nations of the Gulf have repeatedly voiced support for Syrian rebels against the regime of Assad, a member of the Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

In a separate statement, SPA reported that the Saudi monarch has called for launching a campaign to raise funds "in support of our brothers in Syria" starting on Monday.

"The donations will be from all the kingdom's regions" urging all Saudis "to participate in the campaign."

Saudi Arabia hosts the headquarters of the 57-member pan-Muslim body — the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is based in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

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