Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali has called upon the Islamic countries to unite leaving behind all differences.
Speaking at the OIC foreign ministers’ council at Abidjan in Ivory Coast on Tuesday, he underscored the need “for making use of abundant resources of the Islamic world to pursue a course of faster development”.
“…development solves many problems,” he said, according to a foreign ministry statement.
The Abidjan meeting stressed the importance of peace, development and Islamic solidarity with greater participation and role of the youth, who constitute the majority of the Muslim Ummah, as the theme of the council was ‘Youth, Peace and Development in a World of Solidarity’.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouatara inaugurated the meeting on Monday.
Bangladesh will host the foreign ministers’ meeting next year as decided earlier. Ali thanked member states for giving this “honour” to the people of Bangladesh for hosting the meeting and “reposing confidence” in the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He suggested a greater intra-OIC trade and investment and made a call for implementing preferential trade and FTAs towards reaching the ultimate goal of an Islamic Common market, the idea that Bangladesh mooted years ago.
He also underlined the importance of sharing each other’s best practices and expressed Bangladesh’s readiness to share its success stories in the areas of development and poverty alleviation, inter-faith harmony, peace-keeping and peace building, women’s empowerment, containing terrorism and radicalization, health and education.
While speaking of better ways of dealing with terrorism and Islamophobia, the foreign minister emphasised on better counter-narratives and appreciated the role of Bangladesh’s religious leaders citing the example of Bangladesh Jamiyatul Ulama’s anti-militancy fatwa of peace.
He suggested interfaith dialogue and criminalisation of incitement to religious hatred for the problem of Islamophobia.
The foreign minister also spoke about the solution of the Palestine problem.
He reminded the Council of the need for restoring the rights of the Rohingya Muslims and their return and repatriation to their homeland, the Rakhine state of Myanmar.