Turkey ready to host 2016 OIC summit: Diplomatic source

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Feb 2013

With this year's OIC summit set to kick off in Cairo on Wednesday, Ankara expresses willingness to host Islamic organisation's 2016 meeting, diplomatic source tells MENA

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.

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