Islamic Solidarity Summit releases final communiqué

August 16, 2012

The 4th Extraordinary Islamic Solidarity Summit issued a final communiqué yesterday evening following two days of deliberations in Makkah. The participants, including leaders and delegations from Muslim countries around the world, stressed that cooperation and unity are imperative in solving the many crises that plague the Islamic world. They advocated the establishment of “practical programs in political, educational, economic and social fields” that will enable Muslims to positively associate with one another, undertake joint actions, and reject political discord and sectarian strife.

In the political sphere, the communiqué affirmed that the situation in Palestine is the central issue of the Islamic world. It demanded an end to the Israeli occupations and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders and with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital. Furthermore, it condemned Israel’s attempts to alter the character of Al-Quds and commended the efforts of Saudi Arabia and other countries to defend that city’s Islamic holy sites.

Regarding Syria, the communiqué stressed the need to preserve the unity, sovereignty and independence of Syria, while strongly condemning the Syrian government for killing thousands of unarmed civilians. It called for the immediate cessation of violence, the release of detainees, and the provision of humanitarian aid to those in need. However, it stated, “In light of the failure of Syrian authorities to reach practical results in the implementation of the initiative of U.N.-Arab Envoy to resolve the Syrian crisis, the Arab initiative, and the decisions of the Executive Committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and in view of the intransigence of the Syrian authorities and their commitment to resolving the situation through a military solution, the Summit decides to suspend the membership of the Syrian Arab Republic in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and all its subsidiary organs and to enforce the recommendation of the Executive Committee meeting at the ministerial level in this regard on June 24, 2012.”

The Summit also expressed deep concern over the situation in the Mali and Sahel region, condemned the oppression of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories. Additionally, it expressed its “solidarity and full support for Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir, Iraq, Yemen, the Ivory Coast, the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Turkish-Cyprus in addressing the challenges facing these countries.”

On the issue of reform, the communiqué stressed that change must come from within the Muslim world and should center on the development of scientific advances and the achievement of national unity and equality.

Addressing the problem of extremism, the Summit condemned all forms of immoderation and deviant thought as contradictory to the Islamic values of understanding, tolerance, dialogue, and pluralism. It took a firm stand against terrorism and praised the efforts made by the government of Saudi Arabia in the establishment of the International Counterterrorism Center and the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud International Center for Dialogue between the Followers of Religions and Cultures.

In the economic and social sphere, the communiqué welcomed the increase in trade between OIC member states and advocated studying the possibility of establishing free trade zones. It stressed the importance of cooperation in the fight against poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and disease, as well as in efforts to achieve industrial development and food security. The Summit recommended a clearly defined plan for the advancement of science, technology and innovation and higher education, including progress in “the peaceful use of technology under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IAEA) in order to support sustainable development.” Finally, the communiqué called for supporting development in Africa, reaffirming the commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in OIC member states.