(MENAFN - Arab News) Leaders of the 56-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation will discuss the issue of Israeli settlement in occupied Arab territories on the first day of their summit in Cairo on Feb. 6, a senior official said.
"During this special session, the OIC leaders will make their proposals to tackle this complicated issue," said Amr Ramadan, Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt, following a meeting of OIC officials in Cairo yesterday.
He said the leaders would discuss other topics on the agenda on the second day. "The leaders will also review the humanitarian situation in the Islamic world and discuss ways to promote cultural and economic cooperation among the member countries," he added.
Abdullah Alam, Assistant Secretary-General of the OIC, commended Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah's efforts to strengthen the organization by convening an emergency summit in Makkah, saying it paved the way for OIC's 10-point development program.
Alam expressed his confidence that the Cairo summit would help the OIC countries overcome various crises and herald a new era of progress and prosperity for their peoples.
"The Islamic world is pinning great hope on the OIC to strengthen their unity and cooperation," he said.
Mouhamadou Doudou Lo of Senegal highlighted the challenges facing the OIC, including poverty, Islamophobia, terrorism and protection of Muslim minorities. During the meeting yesterday, Tunisia proposed the formation of an international constitutional court.
The OIC officials will discuss a number of vital topics including Jewish settlements, Islamophobia, inter-OIC trade, scientific and technological cooperation, the Syrian and Malian crises, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and nominations for the new OIC secretary-general.
The term of Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the present secretary-general, ends in December this year. Ihsanoglu, who took over as OIC chief in 2005, has played a big role in strengthening the organization.
Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi will preside over the Cairo summit. "We are working with the Egyptian government to ensure the summit's success," Ihsanoglu said. He disclosed plans to hold a special meeting on Mali on the sidelines of the summit.
The two-day summit will discuss several economic, social and cultural issues, including the plan to combat poverty in the member countries. It will also explore the possibility of establishing a common Islamic market.
This is for the first time Egypt is hosting an Islamic summit. About 26 heads of state from the member states, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad, have confirmed their participation in the summit.