OIC secretary general attends Sharm al Sheikh Iraq conferences

The OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has returned back to Jeddah after participating at the International Compact with Iraq and expanded Neighbouring Countries Meetings which were held in Sharm Al-Sheikh, Egypt on 3rd and 4th May 2007.

In his speeches at the two international conferences, the Secretary General underscored that the OIC General Secretariat will continue its close contacts with the Iraqi leadership and authorities to build on and expand its Makkah Al Mukarramah initiative aiming at bringing Iraqi Shiite and Sunni religious leaders together under a solemn commitment to denounce and reject sectarian violence. He expressed hope that with the opening of its office in Baghdad soon, the General Secretariat will be able to increase its direct contacts and extend its services, in order to contribute visibly to the national reconciliation efforts, which is the key condition for the success of the advancement of political process.

He voiced the support of the OIC for the 'International Compact with Iraq' as the most appropriate instrument of the international community to contribute to the socio-economic and infrastructural reconstruction of Iraq. He confirmed that the OIC General Secretariat and all the relevant specialized agencies of the OIC, particularly IDB, IRCICA, ISESCO and ICCI will be ready to play an active role in supporting different aspects of the reconstruction of Iraq.

The Secretary General expressed his hope that the expanded meetings of the neighbouring countries will be one of the most important and fundamental political forums capable of making a real and concrete impact in favour of peace of stability in Iraq. He summarized the expectations of the OIC General Secretariat regarding the resolution of the present crisis as follows: intensifying efforts of reconciliation among the Iraqi factions; encouraging and appreciating the efforts of the Iraqi Government towards the creation of an all inclusive government, comprising of all the Iraqi factions; working towards ensuring the establishment of friendly and problem-free relations through dialogue between Iraq and all its neighbours and giving prominence to, supporting and further elaborating 'International Compact with Iraq' as a successful framework, aiming at the socio-economic reconstruction of Iraq in a timely and orderly manner.

The Secretary General Ihsanoglu, in the margins of the Sharm Al Sheikh Iraq Conferences held bilateral talks with the Prime Minister of Iraq Mr. Nouri Al-Maliki, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq Mr. Berham Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Mr. Sergei Lavrov and EU External Affairs Commissioner Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

Jeddah, 5 May 2007