Young Saudis in India to narrow cultural divide - Arab News Former president of India and world-renowned nuclear scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on his initiative to achieve world peace through promoting dialogue among followers of various religions and cultures. â€œKing Abdullah is a great man and the entire world has great respect and appreciation for him,â€ he said. Abdul Kalam was delivering an advanced scientific lecture on stem cells on Thursday at the grand conference hall of the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, capital of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Several prominent figures, including Ajit Rangnekar, dean of ISB, Yousuf bin Trad Al-Saadoon, undersecretary for economic and cultural affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several leading scientists and experts in stem cell research attended the function, held as part of the Saudi-Indian Youth Forum. In his opening speech at the session, Ajit Rangnekar welcomed the Saudi youths attending the forum and expressed his delight at their academic and scientific standards. â€œSaudi Arabia is a peace loving country, and the Saudi youths act as messengers of peace for King Abdullahâ€™s interfaith initiative,â€ he said. Al-Saadoon, who led the Saudi youth delegation, thanked Abdul Kalam and conveyed to him King Abdullahâ€™s greetings and appreciation. He said the Saudi delegationâ€™s visit comes within the framework of establishing cultural, educational and humanitarian bridges with nations of the world in line with the principles of the Islamic faith. The visit aims to enable Saudi youths to convey a message of peace and love to all peace-loving people in the world. The delegation is comprised of 26 young Saudi men and women students from all regions of the Kingdom. On his part, Atul Negi, professor of the University of Hyderabad and supervisor of the Indian youth delegation attending the forum, described King Abdullahâ€™s dialogue initiative as a call for global peace. â€œThe initiative involves a number of issues that are of concern for both Saudi and Indian youths. It is considered as one of the best means for mutual understanding and exchange of knowledge and culture in addition to offering appropriate solutions,â€ Negi said in his speech. Hamid Ali Rao, Indiaâ€™s ambassador to the Kingdom, said the idea of the Saudi-Indian Youth Forum is aimed at promoting better understanding, fostering enduring friendships and exchanging experiences and information between youths in the two countries. In a statement to Saudi Press Agency, he said: â€œThis visit is sponsored by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with the Indian Foreign Ministry within the framework of King Abdullahâ€™s initiative for dialogue between the followers of cultures, civilizations and religions,â€ he said. While welcoming the delegation to India, the ambassador said the Saudi youths would interact with their counterparts in India. â€œThe objective of the visit is to further promote growing Saudi-Indian relations and benefit from the Indian experience in the field of communications and information technology. It is hoped that the activities of the forum will provide an opportunity for young Saudis to interact with their Indian counterparts and outline common ideas and perceptions,â€ he said. The theme of the visit is communications and information technology and taking advantage of it in the economic and social welfare areas. The forum is the fourth in a series, three of which were conducted earlier in China, Brazil and Germany. The delegation is visiting three premier Indian cities of Hyderabad and Bangalore, which are major IT hubs, in addition to the capital city of New Delhi where its members will tour IT and communication facilities, academic and technological institutions, research centers and places of cultural and historical importance. As part of the forum, Al-Saadoon said there would be dialogue and debate sessions focusing on the latest trends and developments in the field of technology and how to utilize technology to confront current challenges. At the conclusion of the forum, the youths will send a message to King Abdullah, Indian President Pratibha Patil and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlining their hopes, aspirations and recommendations to promote youth contributions, he added. The Saudi team arrived in Bangalore, the second stop in their three-city tour, yesterday evening.