DAMMAM: Siraj Wahab
Friday 10 August 2012
Last Update 10 August 2012 11:34 am
Huge excitement is in the air as Saudi Arabia prepares for the Islamic solidarity summit in Makkah on Aug. 14-15. Apart from Syria, Palestine and Burma, finding solutions to the deteriorating security scenario in Yemen and Somalia and establishing peace in Afghanistan will also be among the top priorities of the Muslim leaders.
According to reliable diplomatic sources, the US is sending its special envoy to the OIC Rashad Hussain to attend the summit. “His presence as an observer will help him to convey to US President Barack Obama about the prevalent mood in the Muslim world vis-a-vis Syria and Afghanistan — two countries where America has huge stakes,” said one of the diplomats at the OIC.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari have already confirmed their attendance at the key summit. That the Muslim world is very keen at the deliberations and positive outcome of the summit is evident from the editorial comments and special articles that are being run in the major publications coming out of the Muslim world. These publications and TV channels have congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah in taking the lead at a very crucial juncture in the history of modern Muslims.
“He has shown that he cares deeply for Muslim world around the world,” said a commentator in a leading Pakistani daily. “While everyone of us was lamenting and wringing our hands in despair at the turn of events, King Abdullah showed extraordinary leadership, sagacity and maturity by convening the Makkah summit and raising hopes of a breakthrough.”
An English daily from Turkey said King Abdullah, by virtue of being the custodian of the holy mosques, is the leader of all Muslims and “this is reflected in the immediate acceptance of his invitation by almost all major Muslim countries of the world.”
At the Jeddah headquarters of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, led by the dynamic Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, diplomats are busy finalizing the agenda and preparing the relevant resolutions and documents. “There is excitement and positive buzz among the representatives of various countries at the OIC,” said a diplomat from Afghanistan. “Tomorrow (Saturday) we have a special meeting to discuss the possible talking points during the summit.”
The OIC has come out with a special publication in Arabic to coincide with the summit. It has on its cover the calming and reassuring picture of King Abdullah. According to Maha Akeel, the managing editor of the prestigious OIC Journal, the special issue has a comprehensive coverage of the forthcoming summit and carries a special message from the organization’s secretary-general in which he describes King Abdullah’s decision to hold the summit as “timely and needed in light of the events taking place in various parts of the Muslim world.”
“The issue is a special edition that will be distributed at the summit,” said Akeel. It contains reports on developments taking place in some member states and Muslim communities around the world, such as Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and the Muslim Rohingyas. There is also a special report on the status of refugees in the Muslim world as a result of wars, conflicts, ethnic cleansing and natural disasters.
Interestingly, it is not just the Muslim world that is keenly watching the developments at the summit. Representatives of many non-Muslim countries and organizations have expressed their desire to attend the summit as observers. They include countries such as Russia, Thailand and Turkish Cyprus and Muslim organizations such as Moro Liberation Front, Hurriyat Conference of Kashmir.
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