OIC foreign ministers begin 35th meeting in Uganda

June 19, 2008

The 35th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) began yesterday in Kampala, Uganda. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Madani led the Saudi delegation to the meeting.

The three-day conference will address issues including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Middle East peace process, the situation in Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia, US sanctions on Syria, lifting sanctions on Libya, UN reform and the nuclear file.

In his address to the gathering, Madani said that Islamic solidarity remains one of the Kingdom’s top priorities. He highlighted the importance of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, called for Palestinian unity and condemned Israel for its collective punishment of the Palestinian people in violation of international conventions.

On other international issues, he welcomed the election of Gen. Michel Suleiman as president of Lebanon and reiterated Saudi Arabia’s support for Iraq. Madani also highlighted the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s call for dialogue among religions and cultures.

The foreign ministers also signed the new OIC charter in a special ceremony conducted on the fringes of the meeting. Madani signed on behalf of Saudi Arabia, invited to be one the first signatories in recognition of its efforts to bring about the document.

In a separate meeting on the fringes of the conference, Madani expressed support for the Declaration of Jammu and Kashmir issued by the OIC contact group at the March 2008 OIC meeting in Dakar and reaffirmed its commitment to a just and fair solution to the conflict there.