CONAKRY(Guinea), December 14 – The 40th session of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) voiced deep concern over the reported ban on Islam in Angola.
The Council’s statement noted media reports on the denial of the basic rights of Muslims in Angola. It took note of the message conveyed by the OIC secretary general to the foreign minister of Angola inquiring about these media reports. The ministers warned that such a ban would have unfavorable consequences on Angola’s relations with the Muslim world.
The Ministers requested the secretary general to investigate the veracity of the information through direct consultation with the government of Angola and representatives of Muslims in that country, including dispatching a high-level delegation for this purpose.
The conference adopted a number of resolutions addressing the situation in Palestine, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Mali, and Afghanistan as well as developments in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Azerbaijan, Turkish Cypriot State, Jammu and Kashmir, Niger, Comoros, Djibouti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo and the Muslim community in Myanmar.
On Palestine, the Ministers adopted the resolutions on an action plan at the political and legal levels to counter Israel’s illegal practices in Al-Quds.
The Ministers decided to cut all ties, including political and diplomatic, with any country that relocates its embassy to Jerusalem. Meanwhile, it was announced at the 40th session that the Chair of Al-Quds Committee, King Mohamed VI, has decided to hold the 20th session of Al-Quds Committee in Morocco on 9-10 January 2014.
On Syria, the Council advocated convening Geneva II Conference involving all parties in order to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. It welcomed international efforts in this regard and expressed OIC’s readiness to offer what it can do through its position and possible capabilities in order to contain the crisis and to bring support to a peaceful solution of the Syrian crisis.
The Council expressed support to the efforts of the governments in Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Mali and Afghanistan in tackling the challenges they face and called on the member states to support these efforts. It called for holding a donors’ conference for Cote d’Ivoire and called on OIC’s financial institutions to support Guinea.
On the issue of Muslims in Myanmar, the Council expressed OIC’s readiness to engage with Myanmar Government and cooperate on developmental projects. The Islamic Development Bank agreed to implement the proposals made by the secretary general to the president of Myanmar, namely, establishing a technical training college and a medical facility in Rakhine State, while IRCICA agreed to hold an international symposium on the relations of Buddhism and Islam through a historical perspective.
The 40th conference also adopted resolutions on economic affairs, cultural affairs including Islamophobia, and science and technology which also covers health and education issues, in addition to resolutions on information and information technology.
IYAD MADANI TAKES OVER AS OIC CHIEF
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia’s former Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani took oath as the new Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the 40th session of OIC foreign ministers, which concluded here on Wednesday. He will replace Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of Turkey, who will retired by the end of this month after holding the post for nine years.
Assistant Secretary Generals also took the oath at the concluding session. Egypt’s Nomini, won the Arab Group’s vote for the position of Assistant Secretary general for Cultural Affairs and election of Assistant Secretary General for Science and Technology was postponed.
The Saudi, Palestinian and Nigerian candidates were re-elected for Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Palestine and Jerusalem Affairs, and Economic Affairs respectively. In addition, a new position of Assistant Secretary General for Administration and Financial Affairs was proposed by Kuwait and approved. –IINA