20/03/2014: OIC to continue work with govt in Bangladesh
OIC to continue work with govt in Bangladesh
Iyad Ameen Madani, secretary general, OIC
Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) Iyad Ameen Madani yesterday assured that the OIC would continue to work with the present government of Bangladesh, saying there were ‘free elections’ in the country on January 5.
“Whoever is in power represents Bangladesh … the OIC looks forward to working with the officials of the government of Bangladesh,” he told
reporters in Dhaka.
The OIC chief came up with the remarks after separate meetings with Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque.
Welcoming the results of the January 5 elections, Madani said he is in Dhaka to listen to the leaders in terms of their vision for the OIC and the priorities
of OIC in the future.
Responding to a question, he said the OIC does not get involved in domestic politics of any member state, but as a matter of principle, it sees two challenges to be faced as a
“One is sectarian violence, which is between Shias and Sunnis. This is really a situation where there will be no winners and there will all be losers. We’ve to confront this as Muslims, as member states,” Madani said.
He said the OIC has to play a role in this regard as there is a need to confront those voices of extremism that give themselves a right to talk on behalf of Islam.
“We cannot allow them to hijack Islam. Islam is a religion of tolerance, a peaceful co-existence of prosperity, scientific knowledge of free mind. We cannot allow ourselves to be taken away by literal translation of narrow minded extremism. This is the two
challenges,” he added.
In his meeting with the foreign secretary, the OIC chief discussed the Rohingya issue and laid emphasis on quick
solution to the matter.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, foreign secretary Haque said the OIC chief seeks quick solution to the Rohingya issue with Myanmar.
This is his first visit to Bangladesh after assuming the office of secretary general recently and the purpose of the visit is to strengthen the existing co-operation between the OIC and Bangladesh, according to the foreign ministry.
Madani, a former minister of Saudi Arabia, assumed office as the 10th secretary general of OIC on January 1 after his election in the 12th OIC Summit held in Cairo in February 2013.
Bangladesh is among the first few countries that the secretary general decided to visit after taking over charge of the OIC General Secretariat.
The OIC is the second largest international organisation, after the UN family, which groups 57 Muslim-majority countries spread over four continents.