Istanbul: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a pan-Islamic summit, bringing together leaders from across the Islamic world, concluded in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday with a pledge to combat terrorism, cast aside sectarian differences and address regional conflicts.
The 13rd Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) harshly criticized Iran, deploring its interference in the internal affairs of regional states and other member countries including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism, according to the final communique issued at the end of the two-day summit.
The conference also condemned Hezbollah for its role in terrorist activities in Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, and for supporting terrorist movements undermining security of OIC states.
Chairing the final session of the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that sectarianism, racism and terrorism are the three largest challenges confronting the Muslim world.
“As Muslims, we cannot overcome our difficulties without achieving unity in spite of our differences", he said.
The Turkish leader said establishing an international arbitration body in Istanbul was part of the OIC 2025 Action Plan, endorsed by the summit.
Iyad Madani, secretary general of the 56-member Islamic bloc, said the summit took over 200 decisions. The conference expressed concern over the rising tide of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism in Western countries, and called on Western states to take necessary measures to combat them and to ensure the safety and well-being of Muslims there.
Condemning Israel’s continued occupation of the Palestinian territories and its increasing atrocities, the summit confirmed full solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle to free themselves from the 49-year-long occupation and called on the global community to support efforts to empower the state of Palestine by all means.
The leaders emphasized their shared commitment to defend human dignity by working toward alleviating poverty, addressing social injustices and creating equal opportunities for Muslim minorities. The summit recognized the need for the Islamic world to enhance its outreach and interaction with other religions and cultures through constructive dialogue, mutual understanding and moderation.
The OIC condemned terrorism and sectarianism in all their forms and manifestations regardless of motive and wherever and by whomever committed, and call for equal determination toward all terrorist organizations.
It renewed unwavering commitment to strengthening cooperation between the OIC and other international organizations to prevent and combat the scourge of terror. The conference rejected all attempts to affiliate terrorism with any nationality, civilization, religion or ethnic group, and refuse provision of any direct or indirect support to the groups that calls for violence, extremism and terrorism.
The summit also emphasized the importance of fostering tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples, besides reiterating that intercultural dialogue, mutual respect and finding common grounds for solidarity are the only means to build peaceful, prosperous and socially cohesive communities. The summit expressed solidarity with Muslim minorities in many non-OIC member states who still face serious oppression and whose rights are disregarded in many cases.
The conference encouraged efforts aimed at strengthening and enhancing the role of Muslim youth in society, and improving the conditions for their education and employment. It underlined the importance of the contribution of Muslim women to social life as well as of strengthening the role of women in development of Islamic countries.
The Muslim leaders reaffirmed their resolve to increase intra-OIC trade to 25 percent in the coming ten years. They also welcomed the adoption of the “OIC-2025: Program of Action,” setting ambitious targets in various fields for the member states to achieve over the next ten years.
The leaders also vowed their commitment to continue efforts aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the OIC in making justice and peace prevail all around the world.