Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is seriously considering suspension of Syria from the membership of the pan Islamic organization and its affiliated bodies.
“Foreign ministers from the member countries will discuss the issue and take a decision at the ministerial level meeting to be held in Djibouti on Nov. 15,” he said. Ihsanoglu was replying to queries from Arab News during a press conference held at the end of the ministerial-level extraordinary meeting of the OIC Executive Committee here on Sunday.
The OIC chief said that any military intervention in Syria at present would not be fruitful but instead it would further deteriorate the situation and drag the region into a vicious war. "This would exacerbate the situation and in no way serve the interests of the Syrian people,” he said.
All the members of the executive committee, except Syria and Iran, supported the recommendation to suspend Syria from OIC, according to OIC sources. Subsequently, the committee recommended suspending Syria's membership in the pan-Muslim grouping.
The 57-member OIC committee has "recommended to the Djibouti meeting the suspension of Syria's membership in the OIC in light of the bloody events taking place in the country. The committee also urged the UN Security Council “to assume its full responsibilities to put an end to the violence and bloodshed taking place in Syria."
Earlier, addressing the meeting, Ihsanoglu warned that the current situation in Syria presages a civil war outbreak, which could crush thousands more of innocent lives and whose impact could overspill to all the countries of the region.
The OIC chief expressed his profound concern, pain and sorrow at he turn of events in Syria. “With the approach of the holy month of Ramadan and the sacred months during which Allah has forbidden warring, and the blood-letting of innocent civilians becomes even more reprehensible,” he said while appealing the Syrian Islamic scholars to urge people to observe the sanctity of these sacred months.
Ihsanoglu noted that the OIC, ever since its inception, has been keen in avoiding interference in the domestic affairs of any member country, in addition to respecting its sovereignty and territorial integrity with the hope of achieving a permanent solution within the framework of the Arab-Islamic world.
“However, the exacerbated security situation, the nature of the repressive practices, and the killing of so many children and women have contributed to the internationalization of the crisis,” he said while emphasizing the pan Islamic body’s earlier position of rejecting internationalization of the crisis.
Ihsanoglu said the meeting, held at the OIC headquarters, also examined the serious developments in Palestine, Syria, Sudan and Mali, and that OIC is striving to find a solution to these crises without allowing them to get further worsened.
In his speech, Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Kabeer noted that the meeting was convened at a time when the Muslim Ummah was passing through a difficult time. “The painful situation in Syria demands from us all types of support and help to the people of Syria,” he said.
Prince Turki drew attention to an earlier meeting convened by OIC to discuss the deteriorating situation in Syria in November last year and its demand to Damascus to stop atrocities against its own people and support to the Arab League plan to end the crisis. “But unfortunately, none of these demands have so far been materialized. Hence, the meeting must take decisive and strong action in the wake of the failure of half solutions and all efforts to stop the massacres against the Syrian people," Prince Turki added.