Organisation of the Islamic Conference Admits UK as Observing Member
  • Fri, 06/17/2011
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17 June 2011

The Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Professor Ekme Al Deen Ihsanoglu has welcomed the appointment of Mohammad Shokat as the new UK special envoy to the world's largest Islamic organisation.

He pledged the full support of the OIC for the new envoy's efforts to further strengthen the bilateral relations between the OIC and Britain.

The 57-member OIC is regarded as the second largest organisation in the world after the UN.

Countries that enjoy observer status at the OIC can participate in all the meetings and deliberations of the organisation. But they do not have a right to vote or present draft resolutions concerning the member states.

Some states have been incorporated to the OIC with an observer status with an objective of ensuring protection of the rights of Muslim minorities living in those countries.

Britain had approached the OIC early this year with an official request to join the organisation as an observer state.

Eight other countries also applied at the same time but have not as of yet been granted observer status. They include: Belarus, South Africa, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Serbia and Nepal.

Professor Ihsanoglu made a four-day official visit to the UK that ended on Thursday. He held wide-ranging talks with British leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague.

During the meeting with David Cameron and William Hague, the OIC chief discussed issues of mutual concern and ways to further bolster the OIC-UK relations besides strengthening cooperation in a way serving interests of both the sides.

They also exchanged views on the Middle East Peace Process, developments in some countries in Northern Africa and Middle East region such as Libya, Syria and Yemen, in addition to the situation in Afghanistan.

Also, Professor Ihsanoglu met with prominent figures representing the British Muslim community and exchanged views about their role and activities in the society as a whole.

Sources:

"Organisation of the Islamic Conference welcomes new UK special envoy appointment" Gulf News June 17, 2011

"UK - MFA - Foreign Secretary meets with the Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference" ISRIA June 15, 2011