Turkey bids for next OIC summit hosting

Turkey bids for next OIC summit hosting

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey bids for next OIC summit hosting

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) shakes hands with Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa at a foreign ministers meeting ahead of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Cairo February 4, 2013. REUTERS photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Jan. 4 voiced Turkey’s willingness to host the next Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which will gather heads of states and governments.

“Let me continue by renewing our strong desire and commitment to host the Thirteenth Islamic Summit in Turkey. I regret to remind you that although it is a founding member, Turkey has never had the opportunity to host its brothers and sisters at an Islamic Summit. We expect the widest support of all brotherly member countries for our bid to host the next Summit Conference,” Davutoğlu said in a speech delivered at the foreign ministerial-level meeting of the OIC in Cairo ahead of the Feb. 6-7 summit, where Turkey will be represented by President Abdullah Gül.

OIC summits at the level of heads of states and governments are held once every three years. In the past, Turkey hosted lower-level meetings of the OIC such as the foreign ministerial meeting hosted in Istanbul in 2004. However, the premier OIC summit has so far never been held in Turkey.

Davutoğlu, meanwhile, proposed setting up an OIC Contact Group for Mali in order to follow the developments in this member country and contribute to restoring stability in Mali.

“All neighbors of Mali are OIC countries. Therefore, the OIC has the responsibility to act during hard times faced by its member states. The OIC should support the people of Mali by financial means, including seeking ways to set up a fund as well. We shall discuss this among ourselves,” he said.