The 14th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) started in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, tonight under the chairmanship of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and in the presence of the leaders of the OIC Member States.

The UAE delegation to the Islamic Summit is led by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and include H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation; and UAE Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan.

The 14th regular session of the “Hand in Hand toward the Future” Islamic Summit comes hot on the heels of two emergency Gulf and Arab summits which were held in Makkah Thursday to look into the mounting challenges besetting the region, primarily Iran’s meddling into Arab affairs.

The summit seeks to formulate a unified stance toward current issues of relevance to the Islamic world. It’s focusing on the Palestinian cause and developments in the Arab, African and Asian regions.

Cultural, economic, scientific, social and other matters of concern to the OIC Member States are equally being discussed.

King Salman opened the summit by affirming that the Palestinian cause remains the top priority of the OIC’s work.

“The Palestinian cause is the utmost priority of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It will continue to be the focus of our concern so that the brotherly Palestinian people will receive all their legitimate rights enshrined in relevant international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative,” King Salman said.

“We reaffirm our categorical rejection of any measures that would impinge on the historical and legal status of Jerusalem,” the King added.

King Salman condemned the recent sabotage attacks against commercial vessels in the UAE’s regional waters and the bomb-laden drone strikes on Saudi pumping stations as grave menacing threats “not only targeting Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but the whole world.”

The OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen spoke after King Salman and doubled on the central importance of the Palestinian cause.

Al-Othaimeen also said that terrorism can never be associated with any religion, citing the recent Christchurch mosque mass shootings in New Zealand, which left around 50 people killed and dozens injured.

Terrorism and extremism are some of the biggest challenges that we are facing, he said.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs