x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

Pan-Muslim group condemns militants groups, ISIL

Delegates at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also discussed strategy and stressed the need 'for drying up the sources of funding of terrorism'.

Kuwait City // A conference of Muslim states on Thursday condemned the main extremist groups active in Syria and Iraq and called for “joining regional and international efforts to fight terrorism and extremist thought”.

“We condemn the gruesome atrocities committed by all terrorist organisations including Daesh [the Arabic term for ISIL], Al Qaeda and Al Nusra Front [Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria],” the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in communique issued at the end of a two-day conference in the Kuwaiti capital.

The Sunni groups named are involved in armed conflicts in several Arab countries including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

No Shiite groups, such as Lebanon’s Hizbollah, were mentioned in the communique.

“The escalation of violence and terrorist crimes threatens regional and international security,” the statement said.

The conference was attended by foreign ministers from more than 50 Muslim countries.

Delegates discussed strategy and stressed the need “for drying up the sources of funding of terrorism”.

The OIC secretary general Iyad Madani, a Saudi, admitted without elaborating that there were “differences between member states” on strategy despite “general agreement”.

He said the meeting also focused on tackling “sectarian fighting, which is the biggest danger to Muslim countries”.

Bloody Sunni-Shiite fighting is raging in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Saudi Arabia was itself the scene of a deadly suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque last week that was claimed by ISIL.

The OIC also declared support for Yemen’s UN-backed president, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, and welcomed a Saudi-led operation against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels there.

The conference urged rival factions in Libya to resolve their dispute peacefully, and backed the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

* Agence France-Presse