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Cairo: The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani yesterday called on Muslim countries to form a unified vision to face the challenges of a world where barriers were crumbling and crises transcended international boundaries.
Nihilist terrorism, which had no regard for communities and nations and used religion as a cover, remained one of the biggest challenges facing Islamic states as it threatened the peace and security of Islamic people, he said.
The Emir was speaking at the 12th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo.
He said these challenges called for four things, first being the need to adopt dialogue and other peaceful means to resolve disputes between states as well as between conflicting parties within states.
Also needed was attention to human development and issues facing youth, who should be helped to achieve their aspirations through education and employment, and involvement in decision-making, he said. The Emir highlighted the need to spread the correct teachings of Islam and deepen rapprochement and peaceful coexistence with others, as well as to achieve unity among Islamic nations on the basis of tolerance, the recognition of diversity as a source of strength and richness, common interests, people’s aspirations, and a common vision on international issues.
On Israel’s decision to build new settlements, and the Judaisation of Jerusalem, the Emir said these measures constituted a challenge to the international community and a violation of international law and human values. The Emir called on world powers involved in the Middle East peace process to compel Israel to comply with UN resolutions, stop settlement activities that harm the peace process, remove its separation barrier and not jeopardise the status of Jerusalem.
The Emir said the Syrian crisis would end only if the Bashar Al Assad regime relinquished power or was toppled, and there was an immediate cessation of violence, with the Syrian people getting the right to self-determination so as to preserve the unity, stability and sovereignty of the country. The Emir called on the UN Security Council to issue a binding ceasefire decision, send peacekeeping forces and ensure a peaceful transition of power in Syria.
Meanwhile, a former Saudi minister, Iyad Madani, was named as the next head of OIC to succeed Turkey’s Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.