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Egypt’s Foreign Minister opens Islamic summit

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Palestine and Syria dominate agenda during preliminary meeting

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr speaks during a press conference (file photo)AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr speaks during a press conference (file photo)
AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI

Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr has said, during a foreign ministers’ meeting in prelude to the upcoming Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit, that the Palestinian issue is at the forefront of challenges facing the Islamic world.

The summit is scheduled to begin on Wednesday after the two-day ministers’ meeting ends.

According to the state-owned Al-Ahram news agency, Kamel Amr said the Palestinian issue is the cornerstone for achieving security and stability in the Middle East and the world, also stressing that there is no contradiction between the Islamic faith and the concept of an institution of a modern civil state.

During the opening of the foreign ministers’ meeting on Monday, Kamel Amr was quoted stressing the need for OIC resolutions to keep up with rapid developments on the ground in Palestine, specifically in relation to the building of settlements in Palestinian territories such as East Jerusalem.

Kamel Amr said the rapid expansion of Israeli settlement construction activity in Palestinian territories since the state of Palestine was recognised and given observer status at the United Nations has prompted Egypt to create a special session within the summit to find ways to deal with Israeli settlement policies and to address Israeli attempts to “isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian environment”.

“The meeting today, which is held under the title ‘The Islamic world: New challenges and growing opportunities’ sheds light on the challenges we face at a time of increased political conflict and economic challenges,” Al-Ahram quoted Kamel Amr as saying. Amr added he hoped the summit would succeed in bringing together a plan to enhance political and economic cooperation in the face of such challenges.

He said this was a historic moment, as “Egyptians are working towards building a new state based on truth and justice, freedom and democracy.”

He also spoke about the negative preconceptions about Islam and Muslims that exist around the world, stressing that it was necessary to alleviate the suffering many Muslim communities face due to growing Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination.

The foreign minister also said he was looking forward to working with the other nations present in dealing with the Syrian civil war, adding that he was confident they could come to decisions which meet the aspirations of the Syrian people.

“I hope to make this conference a milestone and a landmark in the history of our joint Islamic cooperation,” he concluded.

 

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Luiz Sanchez

Luiz Sanchez

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Luiz is a Brazilian journalist in Cairo @luizdaVeiga


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