ISLAMABAD: Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud arrived in Islamabad on Monday to participate in the 48th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), scheduled to be held on March 22-23.
Minister of state for information and broadcasting Farrukh Habib, special representative to the prime minister for the Middle East, Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, and officials from the Pakistani foreign ministry and Saudi embassy received the Saudi foreign minister at the airport.
OIC secretary general Hissein Brahim Taha, the chairman of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser, and the foreign minister of China, Wang Yi, who is attending the conference as a special guest, also arrived in Islamabad on Monday. The foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia, Tajikistan, Somalia, Niger, Uganda and Gambia are already present in the Pakistani capital.
Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met the OIC secretary general in Islamabad on Monday to review the agenda of the 48th CFM and discuss expected outcomes.
“They also discussed the issues confronting the Islamic Ummah and the role of the OIC in that regard,” Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement.
Qureshi commended the proposal to appoint an OIC special envoy on Islamophobia to help coordinate the work of the organization and its member states in addressing the discrimination and stigmatization of Muslims around the world.
“The OIC secretary general assured the foreign minister of the OIC secretariat’s full support and cooperation during Pakistan’s chairmanship of CFM,” the statement said.
OIC secretary general Taha and President of IsDB, Al-Jasser, also signed a charter for a humanitarian trust fund for Afghanistan, the establishment of which was one of the key outcomes of the 17th Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, held in Islamabad on 19 December 2021.
“I am delighted to sign this (charter) with the president of IsDB,” Taha said while addressing the signing ceremony. “Our trust fund aims to support Afghan people and also to contribute to their creativity.”
Al-Jasser termed the signing of the charter “the first but very pivotal step” to pave the way for the operationalization of the Afghanistan humanitarian trust fund.
“I assure that by working closely with OIC and the international community, we are committed to serve, to facilitate, and expedite the humanitarian efforts to relieve the suffering of our Afghan brothers and sisters to the best of our ability,” Al-Jasser said, adding that the bank looked forward to the generous support of all countries, international, regional, and bilateral organizations, the private sector and philanthropists.
Qureshi, who witnessed the signing ceremony, commended the timely implementation of the trust fund by the IsDB.
“I am glad the bank (IsDB) has very efficiently discharged its task well within the stipulated timeframe,” he said. “I understand that the charter of the trust fund remains quite flexible, allowing donations from outside OIC system. This is appreciable feature that will help expand it to international donors.”
Qureshi also held separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Tunisia and Tajikistan on Monday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also separately met Al-Jasser and “recognized IsDB’s long standing and trusted partnership with Pakistan and its support in diverse sectors such as Energy, Finance, Transportation, Education and Health.”
He also appreciated IsDB’s support to Pakistan for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
Al-Jasser briefed Khan about IsDB’s programs, including the operationalization of the Afghanistan humanitarian trust fund.