Leaders of Muslim countries meet in Istanbul for 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit to discuss fight against terrorism, says organisation's official website

Leaders and representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states pose for a group photo during the Istanbul Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on April 14, 2016.
Leaders and representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states pose for a group photo during the Istanbul Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on April 14, 2016.

The upcoming 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Turkey will increase unity and solidarity between Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism, according to a statement posted on the organisation's official website.

This is the first time Turkey will host the two-day summit between Thursday and Friday since the body's inception in 1969.

Turkey will take over the organisation's chair for the next two years during the summit, which will be held under the theme "Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host the summit that is expected to see the presence of presidents and prime ministers from over 30 countries.

The high-level meeting of Muslim leaders is also expected to discuss the situation in Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Iraq, and Azerbaijan; a declaration is also expected at the end of the meeting.

Founded in 1969, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation consists of 57 member states and represents the collective voice of the Islamic world, according to the statement.

It is said to be the second largest inter-governmental organisation after the United Nations, which was established at the end of a historical summit in the Moroccan capital of Rabat in the aftermath of an arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 1969. Member countries have been gathering once every three years ever since, mainly to evaluate overall regional politics.

Morocco has hosted the summit three times, while Senegal twice and Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Malaysia and Egypt once since 1969.

Traditionally, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dominates the agenda of the summits, including in 1969 in Rabat, in 1974 in Lahore and the 1981 Mecca meeting.

The 1981 Mecca summit also evaluated the political and economic crisis in Afghanistan as well as the Iran-Iraq conflict.

At the Casablanca summit in 1984, leaders of 42 member states urged for a ceasefire between Iran-Iraq to end the war between the two neighbours.

The Israeli occupation in Palestine territory was high on the summit agendas in 1991 in Senegalese capital of Dakar, in 2000 in Qatari capital of Doha, in 2003 in Malaysia and in 2008 again in Dakar.

The last summit was held in the Egyptian capital of Cairo in 1984, which addressed the rise of Islamophobia apart from the issue of building Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.

Erdogan hosts dinner in honor of Muslim heads of states

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted a dinner aboard the state yacht Savarona in Istanbul in honour of Muslim heads of states attending the upcoming 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit.

This is the first time Turkey will host the two-day summit between Thursday and Friday since the body's inception in 1969.

Turkey will take over the organisation's chair for the next two years during the summit, which will be held under the theme "Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace".

The summit will increase unity and solidarity between Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism, according to a statement posted on the organisation's official website.

Source: AA