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Muslim leaders discuss issues on Islamophobia, terrorism, conflicts and migration


04-16-2016 15:24 BJT

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has concluded its two-day summit in Istanbul. More than 30 leaders and heads of state from the Islamic world discussed major regional issues, with anti-terrorism cooperation and countering Islamophobia dominating their agenda.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit in Istanbul started and ended with leaders focused on two major issues: concern about Islamophobia and terrorism. 

Those gathered for the OIC meeting called on the West to take necessary measures to counter Islamophobia.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan emphasized the need to combat sectarianism.

"What are the main problems that the Islamic world suffers from? There are three main subjects here: sectarianism, racism and terror. These seriously weaken us. On the point of sectarianism, I belong neither to Shia religion, nor Sunni. We have only one religion: Islam. I am a Muslim," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President.

Meanwhile, in the group’s final communiqué, Iran was harshly criticized – accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of regional states including Syria and Yemen. 

As in previous years, one of the main issues discussed at the summit has been the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Now, leaders hope to make some more concrete progress.

"The negotiations have been going on for more than 20 years, the OIC and the leaders of the OIC, they are looking for any steps to really, not to negotiate for negotiations but to have practical steps to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory," said Samir Bakr Diab, OIC Assistant Secretary General for Palestine.

Leaders at the summit also highlighted the Syrian war as a major regional issue and expressed concern at the suffering of millions of Muslim refugees. 

The group adopted a 10-year action plan with the hope of taking practical measures to fight other issues they have in common.

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