Free Palestine still primary issue for Muslim world, says OIC sec-gen

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 14.04.2016 21:05
Updated 14.04.2016 21:06

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani said OIC member countries believe that Palestinians can establish a country that will restore their freedom and honor, stating that the Palestinian conflict is still the most significant issue facing the Muslim world now.

Speaking during the 13th OIC Summit in Istanbul on Thursday, Madani said there is currently no international political will to advance the peace process, and therefore this summit, with sensitivity towards the issue, is vitally important.

"We want to realize hopes for peace in the Middle East again. Hopefully, this conference will play an important role and will support Palestinians to establish a country that belongs to them, with its in capital Jerusalem, in freedom and honor. We have to support the Palestinian government to work effectively through regarding common points and ignoring disputes, and we have to strengthen its negotiating structure."

Regarding the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Madani acknowledged Azerbaijan's right to protect its borders, and said: "Armenia's occupation of Karabakh is ongoing. The internationally recognized borders of the state of Azerbaijan cannot be violated."

Madani touched upon the ongoing surge of terror around the world, and pointed out that terrorist organization activities in OIC countries have escalated over the last three months. "A total 174 terror attacks took place [in those countries]. While leaving 3,000 dead, they have also wounded 4,000 people," he said, adding that attacks perpetrated by the terrorists in non-OIC countries have caused 122 people to die this year alone, with more than 520 injured.

Concerning the OIC's 2015-2025 Action Plan, Madani said: "We will accept the 2015-2025 action plan. We will continue to work for our nations' benefit with the same confidence and power for the next decade."

The plan projects to increase workplace safety and protection in Muslim countries, including improvement of working conditions and wages, working hours, occupational health and safety, improvement of transparency and access to information related to employment opportunities, as well as promoting vocational training programs.

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