Prioritize trade, investment projects, OIC chief urges member states

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OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen speaking during the meeting of the OIC's Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan chairs the meeting of the OIC's Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation in Istanbul on Wednesday. (SPA)
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Group photo of participants in the meeting of the OIC's Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation. (SPA)
Updated 29 November 2018
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Prioritize trade, investment projects, OIC chief urges member states

JEDDAH: Economic restructuring and diversification were key words during a meeting held by a committee at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Wednesday.
In a speech to the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC), OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen called for reforms within member states suffering from recession and urged a more holistic development agenda.
The meeting was inaugurated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is chairman of COMCEC.
Al-Othaimeen emphasized prioritizing trade and investment projects, which he said may reduce growing unemployment and quell the effects that mass migration is having on national economies.
He praised OIC’s member states’ response to the economic and humanitarian problems faced by some member states, which were the result of increasing political and natural crises.
“Infrastructural and regional integration are key to OIC policymaking, which are in turn being given top priority by member states,” he said.
Development programs designed for Africa and Central Asia have yielded major projects in the trade, energy, agriculture and transport sectors, notably the Arab-Africa trade bridge, the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway and the Dakar-Port Sudan railway, he added.
Dr. Bandar Hajjjar, president of the Islamic Development Bank, and Rifat Oglu, vice president of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, also gave speeches during the meeting.


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 19 July 2019
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

  • The president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Shagaf Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey
  • Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back”

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.