Islamabad hosts extraordinary OIC foreign minister conference

ISLAMABAD: The 17th Extraordinary Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation started in Islamabad Sunday at the National Assembly Hall with 20 foreign ministers and 10 deputy foreign ministers in attendance from across the Muslim world.

Convened by Saudi Arabia as OIC chair and being hosted by Pakistan, 70 delegates are participating in the historic session which will discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. It started with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran. The session is being chaired by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

The extraordinary session of the OIC holds great significance as part of the growing international concern about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the urgent need to address it.

Besides OIC Members and Observers, the UN system, International Financial Institutions (IFIs), international and regional organizations, and non-OIC members including the P-5, EU, and major countries like Germany and Japan, are among the other invitees.

At the inaugural session, Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a keynote address to highlight the situation and draw world attention towards the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the chair of the Extraordinary Session, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud, the OIC Summit Chair, Secretary General of the OIC Hissein Brahim Taha also addressed.

Moreover, the session will also mark the statements on behalf of OIC Regional Groups from Asia, Africa and Arab, as well as President Islamic Development Bank Dr Muhammad Al-Jasser.

The session was convened at the insistence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the OIC Summit Chair.

A delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia arrived late Saturday evening. The delegation was led by the Foreign Minister of KSA Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud. Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, SAPM on Interfaith Harmony Allama Tahir Ashrafi, Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf Bin Saeed Ahmed Al-Maliki and senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the guests.

Several delegations, including foreign ministers, deputy foreign ministers, foreign secretaries and other senior government officials, have arrived from several countries, including Turkey, Sierra Leone, Somalia, UAE, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Jordan and Palestine, in Islamabad.

Interim Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi is also in the federal capital to attend the special moot.

PM Imran Khan welcomes delegations

Taking to his Twitter handle, PM Khan welcomed the delegation from the OIC member states for coming to Pakistan to attend the crucial OIC meeting. “I welcome delegations from OIC [member] states, observers, friends, partners [and] international organisations to Pakistan,” he said on the microblogging website.

“The extraordinary session of OIC [Council of Foreign Ministers] is an expression of solidarity with the Afghan [people and] to focus our collective energies on addressing the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.”

Qureshi hopes for consensus on Afghanistan aid

Earlier, speaking to the media at Parliament House after examining the arrangements, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan’s stance on the prevailing situation in Afghanistan is gaining recognition with the world joining its voice.

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