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Summit strengthens drive for Islamic solidarity

The Islamic Solidarity Summit called by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ended with a focus on inter-sectarian harmony and Islamic unity, and a definitive stand against the brutal Bashar Assad regime in Syria.
"A regime that kills its people has no right to continue in power," said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, at a press conference in the Al-Safa Royal Palace yesterday.
"The summit sends a strong message to the Syrian regime: The massacre of unarmed civilians is unacceptable and the bloodshed has to stop," he said. "We suspend Syria's membership in the OIC and in all its subsidiaries."
The decision resulted from the resolve of the Muslim heads of state to take a united stand alongside the oppressed Syrian people "who suffer tyranny and face aggression under the barrage of artillery and missiles aimed at defenseless civilians."
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nizar Obaid Madani said the focus of the summit was on Islamic solidarity, the crisis in Syria, the genocide of Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar and the unrest in the West African state of Mali. "All decisions relating to these major issues were made through consensus," he said.
The summit expressed gratitude and appreciation to King Abdullah for convening with a view to strengthening Islamic solidarity and to the Saudi people and government for their hospitality.
A statement released at the end of the summit said the Islamic Ummah would pursue every means to achieve unity, solidarity and mutual aid among its members and endeavor to overcome any obstacles to achieve these goals.
The summit statement emphasized the question of Palestine as the central cause of the Islamic Ummah. "Hence, the termination of the Israeli occupation of the Arab and Palestinian territories, occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem and Syrian Golan, constitute a vital demand by the entire Islamic Ummah."
The Muslim world leaders applauded the efforts of Saudi Arabia, under King Abdullah's leadership, to defend Islamic holy places in Al-Quds through his generous and constant support to the holy city, its institutions and inhabitants to enable them to stand up to Israel's attempts to Judaize their city.
Ihsanoglu said it was made very clear to the Myanmar government that 1.5 billion Muslims of the world and the 57 nations of the OIC stood solidly behind the Rohingya Muslims. "The summit denounced the policy of brutalization and violence exercised by the Myanmar government against the Muslim Rohingya community, which is contrary to all the principles of human rights, values and international law," he said.
The summit referred to the historical marginalization of the Rohingyas and called on the Myanmar government to ensure an all-inclusive policy for minorities including Rohingya Muslims, as an integral part of the ongoing democratization and reform process in that country. It requested the government allow full access for humanitarian assistance.
The policy of repression and violence of the Myanmar government against the Rohingya community can be characterized only as crimes against humanity and must be denounced as a source of grave concern for the people and states of the Islamic world in particular, and the rest of the world in general. "Myanmar must immediately cease those practices and grant the Rohingya people their rights as citizens, and the international community must assume its legal and moral responsibility," the summit statement said.
It expressed deep concern over the humanitarian tragedy in Mali and the Sahel region and mandated the OIC chief to take necessary measures to mobilize resources to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced people in Mali and neighboring countries.

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