As Organization of Islamic Cooperation members attend the science and technology event in Astana, Turkey's president asks Muslim countries to "use every means available" to stop the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev shake hands during a joint news conference following their meeting at the Akorda presidential residence in Astana, Kazakhstan. September 9, 2017. (Reuters)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev shake hands during a joint news conference following their meeting at the Akorda presidential residence in Astana, Kazakhstan. September 9, 2017. (Reuters)

The leaders of Turkey, Iran, Venezuela and Bangladesh met on the sidelines of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) science and technology summit in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.

As several Muslim countries try to shore up international support for persecuted Rohingya Muslims, their plight topped Sunday's OIC lines. UN workers in the Cox's Bazar region of southern Bangladesh estimated on Sunday that about 294,000 Rohingyas – many of them sick or wounded –  arrived in just 15 days, putting a huge strain on humanitarian agencies' operations. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Muslim countries to "use every means available" to stop the "cruelty" perpetrated against Myanmar's Rohingya. 

"We want to work with the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh to prevent the humanitarian plight in the region," he told the opening session of the summit on Sunday.

Erdogan, who said the killings of Rohingya Muslims amounted to "genocide," had previously criticised Muslim countries for remaining silent to the ongoing crisis.

Turkey will provide 10,000 tonnes of aid to help Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in Myanmar, Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Erdogan also held bilateral talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Bangladesh President Adbul Hamid.

Syrian peace talks

Erdogan on Saturday met his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana to discuss the forthcoming sixth round of Syrian peace talks.

"Five rounds of Syrian peace talks were held in our capital and, as a result of the negotiations, the occurrences of violence in Syria has dropped significantly," the Kazakh leader said.

Erdogan believed that the sixth round of peace talks will continue to play a key role in the Syrian peace process.

The talks will take place on September 14 in Astana.

As part of Erdogan's official visit to Kazakhstan, both countries signed nine investment agreements worth $ 590 million on construction, engineering products, chemical industry, mining, metallurgy and energy.

Source: Reuters