OIC accuses Iran of regional interference, supporting terror

Body of Muslim world IOC condemns Iran’s regional interference in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Somalia and accuses it of supporting terrorism

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during the closing session of 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit at Istanbul Congress Center (ICC) in Istanbul, Turkey on April 15, 2016.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Friday’s final summit communique deplored Iran’s "interference" in the regional countries and some of the body's members including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia and what it said was its continued "support for terrorism."

"The conference deplored Iran's interference in the internal affairs of the States of the region and other member states including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism," the OIC said.

The final resolution of two-day long OIC summit in Istanbul stressed the need for the cooperative relations between Islamic States and Iran "to be based on the principle of good-neighborliness, non-interference in their domestic affairs, respect for their independence and territorial sovereignty, resolving differences by peaceful means in accordance with the OIC and the UN charters and the principles of international law, and refraining from the use or threat of force."

Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad bin Amin Madani, Foreign Ministers Sameh Shoukry of Egypt (2nd R) and Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey (R) are seen during the opening session of the OIC Istanbul Summit / Reuters

The Islamic body also mentioned attacks that targeted Saudi Arabia’s embassy in the Iranian capital of Tehran and the Saudi consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad, calling them a "flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations."

Iranian protesters attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran and set fires, after Saudi Arabia executed 47 people over terror charges, including prominent Shiite cleric Nimr Baqir al Nimr.

The cleric had allegedly led mass protests against the Saudi authorities in the kingdom’s eastern Qatif Province before his arrest in July 2012.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran in January and withdrew its own diplomatic personnel from the attacked embassy and consulate in the northeastern city of Mashhad. After Saudis cut ties with Iran, some other Muslim countries followed.

The OIC also "rejected Iran’s inflammatory statements on the execution of judicial decisions against the perpetrators of terrorist crimes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, considering those statements a blatant interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a contravention of the United Nations Charter, the OIC Charter and of all international covenants."

Future of Syria

The OIC expressed serious concerns over the ongoing violence and bloodshed in Syria and called for a preservation of Syria’s unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The body’s final act stressed its support for a political process "under the auspices of the UN, with a view to implementing a Syrian-led and Syrian owned political transition that would allow building a new Syrian State based on a pluralist, non-sectarian, democratic and civilian system where the principles of equality before the law, rule of law and respect for human rights prevail."

The conference stressed the need to implement UN Security Council Resolution No. 2254 which endorses an international roadmap for a peace process in Syria’s civil war which has so far claimed at least 300,000 lives and displaced more than 10 million people.

‘We are Muslims’

In a speech at the summit's closing news conference, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addressed the need to reconcile the divisions.

"We are Muslims, we will not allow Islam to be divided," he said.

A day before the summit, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the delegates to avoid sending out divisive messages.

"No message which would fuel division in the Islamic community should come out of the conference," said Rouhani, according to Iranian state television.

On Thursday, Erdogan said the countries had agreed to work more closely to fight terrorism and would establish an Istanbul-based centre for greater police cooperation.

Support for Azerbaijan

The final declaration showed support for Azerbaijan, which had clashed with Armenia in early April.

The OIC condemned Armenia’s "aggression" against Azerbaijan and called on Armenia to withdraw its armed forces from the occupied Karabakh region.

Member states also established a contact group for the conflict within the organisation at the foreign ministers’ level. Its first meeting was held during the Istanbul summit.

The region of Karabakh, which is internationally recognised as officially belonging to Azerbaijan, has been occupied by ethnic Armenians since a separatist movement took over the region in 1994 after three years of bloody clashes.

In early April, fighting between Azerbaijani troops and ethnic Armenian forces on the borders of occupied Karabakh resulted in the deaths of more than 270 military personnel, according to Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry.

Additionally, OIC’s final declaration stated "firm support" for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and expressed its support for settlement negotiations on the island.

TRTWorld and agencies