OIC Secretary-General calls for united stand by all Muslims to deal with various challenges

ERBIL: Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani and President of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, Masoud Barazani, have discussed bilateral cooperation and the state of affairs in Iraq, in the light of terrorist incidents taking place in many regions of the country.

President Barazani stressed that the Iraqi Kurds were proud of their nationality and affiliation to Iraq and expressed appreciation to the OIC. He said that the OIC was capable of uniting the Muslims and giving assurance to the Iraqi Kurds. He also lauded the OIC’s weight and importance as an umbrella institution of the Muslim ummah that is also able to support cooperation. He praised the OIC’s efforts in the political, humanitarian and cultural fields.

For his part the Secretary General assured President Barazani of the OIC’s readiness to provide more assistance to the region in the face of the humanitarian crisis facing more than 1.5 million refugees and displaced persons both within and outside Iraq. He stated that the needs had necessitated the putting in place of practical mechanisms for providing assistance to victims from the various segments of Iraq, including Yazidis, Kurds, Christians, Turkmens, Arabs, Sunnis or Shiites. He stressed further that the OIC was supporting Iraq as a united, stable and prosperous country.

On a related occasion, the Secretary General met with Nechervan Barzani, Prime Minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government, and discussed with him issues of cooperation and coordination, particularly the current situation and how to minimize the humanitarian crisis the region was facing because of the flow of refugees and displaced persons. The Prime Minister warned about the consequence of the crisis escalating at the political, security, social and economic levels in the country.

Mr. Madani also met with Ayatollah Ali Sistani at Najaf. The Secretary General listened to the situation in Iraq as he underscored the importance of mutual understanding, coexistence and non-division, given that Muslims are a single nation and should therefore unite. He stressed that efforts must be made in this direction and that the OIC had a role to play in bringing about convergence of views among the various constituents of Iraq.

The Secretary General emphasized that the Muslim world was facing onerous challenges today in the form of inter-sectarian fighting, enthronement of sectarian identities, extremist and fanatical narratives and Islamophobia. These challenges, he said required a united stand by all Muslims.