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OIC to host Afghan Ulema Conference

JEDDAH, 28th February, 2017 (WAM) — The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, has started preparations for holding the International Muslim Ulema Conference in the coming months to support peace, security, stability and national reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The conference will be held in cooperation with the Afghan Government, High Peace Council and Ulema Council, said the Secretary-General of the Organisation, Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, in a speech during a meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan, ICG, hosted by the OIC in Jeddah.

The speech was delivered on his behalf by Ambassador Tarig Bakheit, Director-General of Political Affairs at the OIC. The meeting was attended by delegates from more than 50 countries and international organisations.

Al-Othaimeen noted that the planned Ulema Conference is expected to address the issue of radical and erroneous interpretations of the teachings of religion in order to promote moderate and tolerant peaceful coexistence between all the adherents of different religious schools of thoughts in Afghanistan.

“Today’s meeting attests to the importance the OIC has always attached and continues to accord to the situation in Afghanistan as well as its readiness to maintain its role in helping the country restore peace, security and development,” he added.

Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan and co-chair of the session, stressed that Afghan National Unity Government remains highly committed to taking every measure to protect civilians, women and children against the brutality of enemies who deliberately target them.

He stressed that the government is undertaking key reforms that will advance the cause of peace in the country.

In her speech, the co-chair of the meeting and Special Representative of Germany for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Sabine Sparwasser, reiterated the international community’s support for the ongoing reforms by the Afghan government and stressed that the ICG meeting will focus on the security situation, the time frame for elections, anti-corruption efforts, war, and other crucial issues in Afghanistan.

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