ISLAMABAD: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) two-day summit will be held on 30-31st of this month in the Holy city of Makkah.
It will be 14th summit of the organisation where issues of interest to the Muslim Umma will come up for discussion as forging unity in the ranks of the Muslim world will be top on the agenda. Khadem-e-Hurmain Sharifain Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz has invited 57 members of the organization, including Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The Khan has accepted the invitation he will be leaving for the summit on 30th of the month. The OIC headquarter is also housed in Jeddah that is situated about one hundred kilometres from Makkah. With this, the chairmanship of the OIC will be changing hands since Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hand over it to King Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
The 14th summit comes three years after 13th meeting took place in Istanbul; Turkey in April 2016 and 50 states attended the meeting.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif represented Pakistan in that meeting. The 13th summit witnessed unpleasant scene when Egyptian Foreign Minister, who was representing his country as head of the OIC handed over the chairman ship of the council left the podium and session without shaking hands with the new leadership and without felicitating him.
The sources pointed out that the 14th summit is taking place in the backdrop of heightening tension between Iran and United States on one end while on the other Iran’s ties are souring with Gulf States on the issue of Yemen. Recent incidents of attacks on the ships of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and oil facilities of Saudi Arabia by Houthi rebels will also come up for discussion.
The sources pointed out that Contact Group on Kashmir will also have its meeting on the brinks of the summit in the last week of this month. It will be chaired by Turkey’s Foreign Minister. The leadership of the true representative of Kashmiri people--All Parties Hurriat Conference (APHC) has also been invited for the summit, but it is feared that Indian government will not provide the leaders so invited traveling documents. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will attend the Contact Group’s meeting. Qureshi will also attend the meeting of the Council of the Foreign Ministers of the OIC. Prime Minister Imran Khan will also address the summit, and it is likely that he would raise the issue of Kashmir in his address. The Khan will also have meetings with the leaders from the Muslim world on the sidelines of the summit. The schedule of such meetings is being worked out through diplomatic channels, the sources said. It will be forth OIC summit, taking place in Makkah.
The leaders attending the summit will be provided opportunity to offer Umrah and visit Madina Munawarah for offering Salam at the Roza of Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him). It is not expected that Syria will be invited for the summit since its membership has been suspended.
The summit is expected to discuss a series of key issues, with the Palestinian cause at the forefront. The Makkah statement is also set to include several major points that serve the best interest of the Islamic countries, while stressing the importance of OIC member states’ commitment to reinforcing unity and solidarity.
The 14th summit comes three years after the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers held an urgent meeting to discuss the ballistic missiles targeting the Saudi Kingdom’s Holy city. The OIC is the second biggest international governmental organisation after the United
Nations, with membership of 57 states from four continents. It represents the Islamic world and seeks to protect its interests.