The 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, was closed on Thursday 19 June 2014, in Jeddah, by the adoption of a final declaration (Declaration of Jeddah).
This declaration reaffirmed the commitment of the member countries of the OIC, to the objectives and principles of the Organization’s Charter, and expressed the common attitudes and positions of the member countries over a set of issues relating to the situation of Muslims and the Islamic world, including the situation in Palestine, Syria, Libya, Iraq and the Central African Republic.
Furthermore, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OIC welcomed the establishment of the Ministerial Contact Group on the Holy City of Al-Quds, the choice of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host the Headquarters of the OIC’s Permanent Independent Human Rights Commission, and the proposal of the State of Kuwait to host the 42nd session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In the same context, Mr. Mezouar indicated in a statement to the press following the meeting, that « the 41st session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC is held in a particular turbulent context for the Islamic world and several countries are facing tensions, and consequently, all these elements have influenced the work of this meeting ».
The Minister added that « the Iraqi issue has been at the core of discussions », given the advancement of jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and their risks on the countries of the region.
In this regard, Mr. Mezouar noted the raising awareness of the member countries of the OIC regarding the threat posed by the ISIS, despite the « obvious divergence of points of views ».
This situation, he pursued, « shall call upon the various political forces and leanings, within Iraq, to achieve progress towards a solution of national unity and compromise », because « the main threat and enemy is the advancement of extremism and its danger, rather than the political divergences that may exist within any country ».
In this sense, Mr. Mezouar stated that the participants warned against "religious differences and dimensions they are taking," noting that they constitute "a real threat not only to Iraq but for the entire region and the whole Muslim world. "
The Minister referred to, also, the Syrian crisis and its humanitarian concerns, indicating that a appeal has been launched to ensure that the OIC countries are taking action to address the humanitarian issue of the Syrian conflict and the need to achieve a cease -fire, saying there can be no " advancement over the resolutions of Geneva 1 without a cease-fire between the various parties."
Regarding the issue of Al-Quds, Mr. Mezouar indicated that the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC insisted that "the decisions taken during the last meeting of the Al-Quds Committee at Marrakech, to be made operational, "adding that an appeal was sent to all countries that there will be" a mobilization of resources to allow the Al-Quds Committee to act in the direction that was drawn during its last meeting."
Concerning the conflicts in other countries, including the Central African Republic, the Minister highlighted the concerns of the Council who focused on "the need to move forward in the process of resolving" this problem.
As for the issue of reconciliation in Mali, He indicated that the Foreign Ministers of the OIC emphasized "the importance of make progress in the commitments undertaken in Ouagadougou to resolve this problem," while calling "the various protagonists to set round a table, depending on the resolutions that have been adopted and the Ouagadougou agreement as it was signed between the various parties to find a solution in north Mali within the framework of the national unity of Mali. "
Additional issues were raised during the 41st session, the Minister pursued, citing the need to develop new economic tools to promote, among other things, the partnership and the microcredit in addition to the needs on cultural and scientific fields, to promote mechanisms for dialogue.
It has also been discussed during this session, the question of the reorganization of the OIC in order to give it greater efficiency, the Minister said noting that there is "an awareness and a willingness to change the Organization. ""It was an all encompassing meeting filled with frank discussions with real concerns," concluded Mr. Mezouar.