Delegates from Iran attend a foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Cairo February 4, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Turkey is willing to host the next summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in 2016, a diplomatic source told Egyptian state news agency MENA on Monday.
At a Monday foreign ministers' meeting, held in advance of this year's OIC summit in Cairo, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on OIC member-states to back the Turkish proposal, the same source revealed.
Turkey has not hosted an OIC summit since 1969.
Leaders of OIC member-states are scheduled to meet in Cairo on Wednesday where they will tackle regional crises ranging from the French-led crusade against Islamist militants in Mali to the ongoing civil war in Syria.
On Monday, foreign ministers began a two-day meeting in Cairo to prepare for the summit, which will be attended by the leaders of 26 out of 57 OIC member-states.
At Wednesday's summit, Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first Islamist president, will assume the organisation's rotating presidency.
The summit had originally been slated to take place in 2011, but was postponed due to a series of regional uprisings that saw four Arab heads of state – including Egypt's Hosni Mubarak – overthrown.
OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, a former Turkish diplomat, told AFP that the upcoming summit "will discuss the major conflicts in the Islamic world."
The event would also provide OIC members with different foreign policies with a chance "to coordinate positions and support the states' sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.
"Personally, I am very concerned about violence and religious extremism in Islamic countries, which face economic problems and political corruption, as is the case in Mali," Ihsanoglu was quoted as saying.