Heads from across the Organization of Islamic Cooperation ( OIC ) met in Saudi Arabia earlier Saturday for the 14th session of the Islamic Summit, which follows two urgent Arab conferences the night before in Makkah criticizing Iran’s behavior and influence in nations like Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. The Muslim heads talked about a breadth of critical problems, ranging from a spike in tensions in the Persian Gulf to Palestinian statehood, the plight of Rohingya refugees and the rising threat of Islamophobia. Prime Minister Imran Khan was among the heads who spoke at the summit.
The premier began his maiden talk at the OIC by raising the problem of Islamophobia: “When somebody from the West blasphemed our Holy Prophet ( PBUH), I always felt the response from the Muslim Ummah and OIC was lacking .” “The OIC — us heads of states — owes a responsibility to the Muslim world .when somebody blasphemes our Prophet ( PBUH), it is a failing of the OIC that we have not been able to explain to the other countries the love and affection we feel for our Holy Prophet,” declared Prime Minister Imran. “Some western countries are suffering from Islamophobia. The West should differentiate between moderate Muslim and extremist Muslim.”
“The worldwide community has to appreciate the emotions of greater than one billion Muslims,” he added. “I also want to bring up the point that the Muslim world must pay a lot more attention to science and technology,” the premier urged. “We must pay extra attention to excellent education and universities ; an area in which the Muslim world lags. I fear the Muslim world may be left behind again and this is the best forum to raise this concern in .” He also touched upon the plight of the people of Kashmir as well as Palestine, saying Pakistan supports the two-state solution and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. “The people of Kashmir should also have their right to self-determination; us as a body must stand against the oppression occurring with the Muslim world.” At the summit, the premier met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin, Salman.
Saudi Arabia’s effort to bring regional leaders to Makkah reflects the Kingdom’s desire to task a unified Muslim and Arab position on Iran to further isolate it internationally and counter Tehran’s increasing achieve in the Middle East. The Islamic summit, however, drew political figures and heads of state from nations spanning Africa, the Middle East and Asia with widely varying policies and priorities. But for the summit’s host, Saudi Arabia, confronting Iran was at the top of the agenda.
“The drone attacks on Saudi oil pumping stations carried by organizations supported by Iran do not only threaten the protection of the Kingdom and the Gulf but also threaten maritime protection and global oil supplies,” said Saudi King Salman in his inaugural talk at the OIC summit. He added that the “sabotage” operations against 4 vessels, which included 2 Saudi oil tankers close to the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates, represent a dangerous threat against maritime safety, as well as regional and international safety. Earlier today, as the summit started, King Salman said that Muslim nations will seek to confront threats and work for the future of Arab and Islamic states. “We meet in ( Makkah ) to work to develop the upcoming of our peoples, to achieve security and stability for our Arab and Islamic countries, and to resolutely confront the threats of aggression and subversive activities so as not to hinder us from continuing to develop our nations and build our societies,” he had said in a tweet.
OIC also slammed the US choice to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the disputed city as Israel’s capital. In his talk at the summit, King Salman declared that the Palestinian cause represents a core problem for the body and that the kingdom “refuses any measures that touch the historical and lawful position of East Jerusalem”. The summit condemned the “transfer of embassies of the United States and Guatemala to Jerusalem” and urged all members to “boycott” nations that have opened diplomatic missions in the city, a statement declared.
The body also refused to accept any choice to change the lawful and demographic status of Syria’s Golan Heights, particularly the US decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory, the declaration added. The declaration comes as US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner prepares to roll out economic aspects of his long-awaited Middle East peace plan at a meeting in Bahrain later this month. The plan, dubbed by Trump as the “deal of the century”, has previously been declined by the Palestinians, who say Trump’s plans have shown him to be blatantly biased in favor of Israel.
Palestinians have cut off all contacts with the Trump management after the president broke with decades of bipartisan policy to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017. Israel insists the whole of Jerusalem is its “eternal, indivisible capital”. The Palestinians demand the city’s eastern sector as the capital of their long-promised state. The summit also condemned the inhumane situation of Rohingya Muslims, urging a halt to violence, the statement declared. It stressed that Myanmar’s govt has the responsibility to protect its citizens.