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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 March 2019

Kashmir on OIC agenda as Pakistan asks for India exclusion

Palestine and the plight of persecuted Muslim communities abroad will also be highlighted

Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation , Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al Othaimeen says regional stability will be key in upcoming meeting. Bill Kotsatos for The National
Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation , Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al Othaimeen says regional stability will be key in upcoming meeting. Bill Kotsatos for The National

The head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation said Kashmir will be on the agenda in the upcoming OIC meeting as tensions in the disputed state remain high after violence broke out last week.

Pakistan has asked the OIC to revoke their invitation to India as the guest of honour at the upcoming meeting in Abu Dhabi.

The head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation said member states' foreign ministers will discuss 131 draft resolutions at the annual meeting in Abu Dhabi this weekend with peace and stability in the Muslim countries topping the agenda.

During the two-day Abu Dhabi conference, which coincides with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the OIC, foreign ministers from 56 countries will discuss a range of issues including support for Muslim communities outside the Arab world and combatting hate speech.

Dr Yousef Al Othaimeen, Secretary-General of the OIC, said the majority of the topics discussed will be associated to politics but that Palestine and counter-terrorism are likely to top the agenda at the meeting titled “50 Years of Islamic Cooperation: The Road Map to Prosperity”.

The meeting comes one week after Saudi King Salman named Palestine as the Arab World's “first concern” during the first EU-Arab League summit in Egypt.

The OIC will be putting forth draft resolutions on financial support mechanisms for Palestinians and will continue working on the Development Fund for Palestine Refugees, according to Saudi state news agency. The fund was announced in December and was established in light of US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding to UNRWA, the refugee agency for Palestinians.

He mentioned that the peace process in the Middle East will be discussed but had no updates in regards to details.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is on a tour of the region to discuss a long-awaited US proposal for peace in Palestine.

The OIC will also be working towards combating terrorism in African countries as well as curbing Islamophobia and alleviating the suffering to abused Muslim communities around the world.

In particular, Dr Al Othaimeen mentioned the Rohingya crisis, which has seen 700,000 refugees flee Myanmar because of threats to their safety in the Buddhist-majority nation.

Armenian activity in territories disputed with Azerbaijan and the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, as well as the situations in Kosovo, will also be discussed.

The Secretary-General said that economic assistance to OIC member states and Muslim communities in disputed or occupied territories will be on the table.

On cultural cooperation, protection of both Iraq and Palestine’s Islamic cultural heritage sites will top the agenda. Dr Al Othaimeen told SPA women empowerment and family protection will be discussed – just weeks after Saudi Arabia issued a new law that protects family members who have suffered domestic violence.

Updated: February 27, 2019 05:55 PM

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