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OIC’s Banjul summit calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

JEDDAH: Leaders of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the Gaza Strip at the conclusion of their 15th summit in the Gambian capital Banjul on Sunday. In their Banjul declaration, the leaders stressed the need for cessation of the all-out aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza, as well as for providing humanitarian, medical, and relief aid.

They called for providing water and electricity and opening humanitarian corridors to deliver urgent aid to the Gaza Strip in an unhindered and adequate manner. They warned of the danger of continuing the crime of genocide and ethnic cleansing, including starvation, deprivation of water, and preventing the entry of fuel, which led to a genuine disaster for all health and humanitarian sectors.

The OIC leaders also affirmed categorical rejection and confrontation, by all means, with any attempt at forcibly displacing, expelling, or transferring the Palestinian people from their land. “We reaffirm the need to enable the Palestinian people to realize their legitimate national rights, as recognized by the international community, including through its recognition of the fully sovereign state of Palestine within the 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Shareef as its capital,” reads the declaration.

They vowed to take all measures to safeguard the Islamic identity of Al-Quds Al-Sharif from the illegal measures and policies, as well as the Judaization attempts of the occupier and the violations against the sanctity and status of Al-Haram Al-Sharif. “We confirm the full solidarity of Member States with the Palestinian People in their struggle to free themselves from foreign occupation and colonization, condemn all illegal actions aimed at denying them their legitimate rights, commend the role of UNRWA in serving the Palestinian refugees, and invite all States and the international community to continue supporting it to execute its historic mandate and responsibility,” they said.

The OIC leaders also emphasized the urgent need to resolve the longstanding disputes, including those involving Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir, as per the United Nations’ relevant resolutions and the wishes of their people to avoid a continuous threat to the peace and security of the Middle East and South Asia. They thanked the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other Member States for leading efforts at the UN General Assembly for the adoption of the Resolutions designating March 15 as “International Day to Combat Islamophobia” in 2022 and “Measures to Combat Islamophobia” on March 15, 2024.

They urged the UN Secretary General to appoint a United Nations Special Envoy to combat Islamophobia and implement other relevant measures contained in these resolutions. They called upon Member States and other countries to take all measures, including legislative and policy measures, to combat religious intolerance, negative stereotyping, hatred, incitement to violence, and violence against persons on the ground of their religion or belief.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the repeated incidents of burning copies of the Holy Quran in a number of European countries and call again on the concerned countries and the international community to take comprehensive and necessary actions to prevent the recurrence of such acts and to counter the alarming surge of Islamophobia,” they stated.

The conferees strongly condemned all forms of intolerance, terrorism, violence, extremism leading to violence, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and discrimination of any kind based on ethnicity, tribe, color, and religion. “We underline the importance of fostering tolerance, dialogue, and cooperation among civilizations, religions, cultures, and peoples as the most effective way to address the scourges of racism, discrimination, religious hatred, and Islamophobia,” they asserted.

They expressed condolences with Kuwait over the demise of the late Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and congratulated His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on his assumption of power. The 15th OIC summit kicked off in Banjul on Saturday, May 4, with the participation of many leaders, premiers, and ministers of the 57 member states. Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Al-Yahya, represented Kuwait at the summit. — KUNA

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