OIC suspends Syria

MAKKAH (SAUDI ARABIA) - The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria in a meeting attended by its staunch ally Iran, in a move hailed early Thursday by the United States as one that sends ‘a strong message’ to Damascus.

By (AFP)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 18 Aug 2012, 12:53 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:55 PM

A statement issued at the end of an OIC summit in the holy city of Makkah said participants had agreed on “the need to end immediately the acts of violence in Syria and to suspend that country from the OIC.”

The final statement said there had been “deep concern at the massacres and inhuman acts suffered by the Syrian people.”

The UAE delegation led by His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Fujairah, attended the summit. The delegation also included Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Rashid bin Hamid Al Sharqi, Chairman of the Fujairah Culture and Media Authority; and Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told a news conference the decision sent “a strong message from the Muslim world to the Syrian regime.”

“This world can no longer accept a regime that massacres its people using planes, tanks and heavy artillery,” he added.

It was “also a message to the international community stating that the Muslim world backs a peaceful solution (in Syria), wants an end to the bloodshed and refuses to let the problem degenerate into a 
religious conflict and spill over” into the wider region, Ihsanoglu said.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that “today’s action underscores the Assad regime’s increasing international isolation and the widespread support for the Syrian people and their struggle for a democratic state that represents their aspirations and respects their human rights,”

The OIC “sent a strong message to the Assad regime by suspending Syria’s membership in the OIC,” Nuland said from Washington.

“The United States commends the OIC for its action and commitment to a peaceful resolution in Syria.”

The move by the OIC, which represents 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, is aimed at further isolating Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s embattled regime, but its effect is seen as being largely symbolic.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League last year over its clampdown on the uprising that Assad characterised as a plot by Western and rival powers to overthrow his regime.

The meeting called for the “immediate implementation of the transitional peace plan and the development of a peaceful mechanism that would allow building a new Syrian state based on pluralism, democratic and civilian system.” It also urged the UN Security Council to “assume fully its responsibility by stopping the ongoing violence and bloodshed in Syria and finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the Syrian crisis.”

The participants also stressed “the principal responsibility of the Syrian government for the continuation of violence and bloodshed.”

Algeria, Pakistan and Kazakhstan had called for the final statement of the summit, to which Damascus was not invited, to also pin blame on the armed opposition for the bloodshed in Syria, according to informed sources at the summit. And Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi proposed the formation of a committee grouping his country with key players Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to try to find a settlement to the Syrian conflict, a delegate had said.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia presided over the meeting, attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose country has openly criticised the push to suspend Syria. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday criticised the move to suspend Syria’s membership of the OIC, saying it would not resolve the conflict and was not in line with the group’s charter.



More news from