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Opening of the 45th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Dhaka: Islamic unanimity on giving priority to Palestine and the Rohingya Minority

Speakers at the 45th session of Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (CFM) were unanimous in highlighting the challenges facing the Islamic world, at the forefront of which the Palestinian cause and the suffering of the Muslim Rohingya minority.

The CFM kicked off on Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Dhaka, Capital of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, under the theme : “The Islamic Values of Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development.”

The conference was inaugurated by H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. In her opening address, Her Excellency laid special focus on the conditions of the Rohingya minority, calling on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to firmly stand in solidarity with the Rohingya people in their quest for security and dignity. She also called for pursuing international pressure on the Myanmar Authorities to honor their obligations for solving this problem.

On his part, H.E. Dr. Youssef A. Al-Othaimeen, OIC Secretary General, insisted, in his statement at the inaugural session, that OIC’s broad geography places upon it momentous responsibilities towards multiple and varied issues, foremost of which that of the coordination currently underway between the Governments of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia to call for an international conference on Afghanistan whose convening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will represent a major watershed in favour of laying the foundations for peace and overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of a national reconciliation that would anchor Afghanistan in stability and security. He stated that the General Secretariat hosted recently a meeting between officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to put the final touches to this important event. The Secretary-General added that the years 2017 and 2018 have marked a very difficult stage that has put the Palestinian issue to extreme tests with the world community manifesting an unprecedented incapacity that further aggravates the situation. He considered a peaceful, equitable and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue would offer a broader and more comprehensive way out for many of our issues, as a real test to our states’ actual will and resolve to make advantageous use of their collective stand in international fora and their common drive to impress upon the international community to take action and rise up to its responsibilities vis-à-vis this issue that has been dragging for over seven decades.

H.E. Mr. Marcel Amon-Tanoh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Côte d’Ivoire and Chair of the 44th session of the CFM underscored the need to meet current challenges by adopting a strong and cohesive Islamic position in line with Member States’ aspirations.

H.E. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, said that the Muslim World is currently confronted with tremendous challenges, including Islamophobia, extremism, inequality, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and terrorism.

Speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, H.E. Mr. Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressed that the Palestinian Cause has absolute priority and emphasized the necessity to achieve fair and comprehensive peace. He also underlined the need to support Muslim minorities across the world, particularly the Rohingya Minority.

H.E. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Bekir Bozdag, insisted on the need to root out extremism, put an end to the Syrian Crisis, and eradicate all terrorist groups.

Speaking on behalf of the African Group, H.E. Mr. Sidiki Kaba, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Senegal, emphasized the central importance of the Palestinian Cause, and highlighted the recurrent Israeli violations against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, a source of great concern. He called for putting an end to the political crises in Yemen, Syria, Libya and Central Africa, and for establishing mechanisms to guarantee the non-recurrence of these violations.

Speaking on behalf of the Asian Group, Mr. Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir, Indonesia’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed support for Bangladesh’s chairmanship of the 45th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

H.E. Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Special Guest of this session, addressed the crisis of the Rohingya Minority, stressing her country’s firm stance against what she considered as ethnic cleansing which is perpetrated against this minority and which must go down in human history.

OIC Website

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