Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi met on Sunday with President of Senegal Abdou Diouf, with whom he exchanged cordial talks, discussing prospects of boosting bilateral cooperation in the areas of information and communications, and touching on a number of issues related to the fourth working session of the information ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) now in progress in Dakar.
In a press statement earlier, Minister Al-Farsi referred to the need to find a unified stand for all Islamic countries concerning crucial issues, and joint positions on seeking information from national news agencies which have credibility concerning what is going on in the Muslim world, adding that the current conference has a number of issues on its agenda in support of Islamic work in accordance with a strategic unified plan already approved by the ministers. The opening meeting had discussed the challenges facing the Islamic world, including that of foreign culture that spreads because of the overwhelming nature of communications; and the importance of constant cooperation among Islamic countries to create appropriate mechanisms for facing this, while demonstrating Islamic culture and civilization, and speaking loudly with one Islamic voice throughout the international mass media.
Last night at the end of the two-day meeting a communique was issued, stressing the need for Muslim solidarity in support of Islamic issues, and in support of the Middle East Peace Process on the basis of the Madrid Conference, the Oslo Agreement, and the principle of land-for-peace as well as the United Nations' Security Council resolutions in this regard, reiterating that the holy city of Al-Quds is an indivisible part of the Palestinian territories which were occupied in 1976. The communique went on to condemn Israel's continuing settlement policy, and to deplore all terrorist acts, highlighting the importance of differentiating between terrorism and a people's rights to struggle against foreign occupation.
The OIC ministers also called for the necessary arrangements to be made to enable the Islamic information media to expose acts of terrorism, and confront all attempts aimed at invoking sedition as well as highlighting Islamic principles which are against terrorism. The communique emphasized the need to develop Islamic information media to keep up with modern technology and changes. In conclusion, the communique welcomed the invitation extended by Iran to host the fifth session of the OIC information ministers in Tehran in 1998.
President Diouf, who is chairman of the OIC's cultural and information committee, stated in his inaugural speech that permanent cooperation is essential among the organs of mass media in the Muslim world in order to establish proper channels of communication which reflect Islamic issues and project the correct stance of Islamic principles. For his part, OIC Secretary-General Dr. Izzadin Al-Araqi commended the care and interest taken by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz in the teaching of the Arabic language to non-Arabic-speaking Muslims.