RIYADH: The British government has appointed Mohammed Shokat as the UK special envoy to the 57-member Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) (the ‘Muslim UN’) in a major bid to boost ties between the two.
The OIC and the UK have also announced plans to develop a joint framework of dialogue and cooperation in selected areas and evinced keen interest to hold regular consultations on issues of common concerns, said a British Embassy spokesman in Riyadh Sunday.
The move to promote relations with the OIC is significant for both sides as Islam is the second largest religion in Britain, with an estimated Muslim population of 2.5 million.
The UK is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council besides being a developed country and the world’s sixth largest economy. On the other hand, the OIC, the second largest inter-governmental organization after the UN, is the collective voice of the Muslim world.
A joint draft statement released by the British Embassy Sunday said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, OIC secretary-general, held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Minister William Hague that focused on promoting OIC-UK cooperation.
The OIC chief paid a five-day official visit to London last week on the invitation of Baroness Warsi, UK Cabinet minister without portfolio.
During the visit, Ihsanoglu was also received by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Alistair Burt, Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan, UK Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mark Sedwill, as well as Shokat, said the statement.
Referring to Ihsanoglu’s talks with Cameron and Hague, the statement said a number of issues of mutual interest were discussed including the further development of OIC-UK relations and cooperation, including thorough regular consultation at various levels.
They also exchanged views on the Middle East peace process, developments in some countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, such as Libya, Syria and Yemen and the situation in Afghanistan, the statement added.
The OIC chief welcomed Shokat’s appointment and expressed his support for him in consolidating the bilateral relationship.
Ihsanoglu met selected British Muslim personalities and exchanged views about their role and activities in society. He commended the valuable and successful work conducted by the British Muslim community and expressed his strong belief that members would set a good example for Muslims in the rest of Europe.
In addition, the OIC secretary-general got together with ambassadors of OIC member states based in London and met representatives of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, during his trip.
Both sides agreed to develop a joint framework of dialogue and cooperation between the OIC and the UK on selected areas including international political issues, development aid, humanitarian assistance, science and technology, interfaith dialogue and combating intolerance.
Regular Un:dhimmi readers know the OIC all too well.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference is the second largest international organisation in the world after the UN. But unlike the UN, it is only open to Muslim membership and promotes only the interests of Islam.
Its twin concerns appear to be the suppression of criticism of Islam and the delegitimisation of Israel. It has used its dominant position among the membership of the bizarrely named UN Human Rights Council to sponsor initiative after initiative to make criticism of Islam an international crime – and uses it to clamp down on public discussion of the often horrific human rights travesties originating from its own member states.
It has openly admitted that it initiated the utterly discredited Goldstone Report, which smeared Israel and defended Muslim terror groups, portraying them as ‘victims’. In essence, it controls the UNHRC.
- Did we vote for you so that you could spend our money formally engaging British representation at the ‘Muslim UN’, an organisation that works actively against our interests, at both national and international levels?
- Why didn’t you make this development public in your own country?
[Source: Arab News]
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