Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcomes Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi upon his arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.—APP
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcomes Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi upon his arrival at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: The 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) opens here on Tuesday (today) to discuss challenges being faced by the Muslim world and emerging opportunities.

The two-day annual meeting of the 57-member body of Muslim countries is being held under the theme of ‘Building Partnerships for Unity, Justice, and Development’. About 46 member states will be represented at the ministerial level in the meeting. The rest will be represented by senior officials.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a tweet welcoming the participants of the meeting, said: “Under overarching theme of ‘Unity, Justice & Development’, OIC-CFM will have wide-ranging deliberations.”

Senior representatives of the United Nations and other international bodies, including the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council, will also participate in the meeting.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi would also attend as special guest

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is attending the meeting as a special guest. It is the first time that a Chinese foreign minister will attend a meeting of the OIC foreign ministers’ council.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said China’s participation in the event and interactions with member states will further strengthen their engagement.

In addition to China, the foreign ministers are expected to deliberate on OIC’s cooperation with the United Nations, the Russian Federation, and the European Union.

The agenda of the meeting covers a review of the developments affecting the Muslim world since the last CFM held in Niamey in 2020 and efforts undertaken by the secretariat for the implementation of resolutions adopted in previous sessions especially on Palestine and Al Quds.

The participants would also deliberate on the situation in Afghanistan and India-held Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting, OIC said, represented “the second most prominent OIC activity following extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers held last December on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan”.

Kashmir issue will also be discussed in a meeting of the Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir on the sidelines of the event.

Issues pertaining to Africa and Muslims in Europe and developments in Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Syria, will also be taken up at the meeting.

The agenda, moreover, includes Islamophobia and issues related to international terrorism and cooperation in economic, cultural, social, humanitarian, and scientific domains.

The Islamabad Ministerial, the Foreign Office said, would consider and adopt over 100 resolutions on a broad range of issues, including peace and security; economic development; cultural and scientific cooperation; and humanitarian, legal, administrative and financial matters.

Pakistan, it said, had been an ardent supporter of OIC. Pakistan, it recalled, had played a seminal role in cementing bonds of unity and solidarity, upholding respect for principles of international law, and fostering economic, scientific and cultural partnerships.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded Azerbaijan’s contribution to the OIC, especially as an active member of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

Talking to Minister of Defence of the Republic Azerbaijan Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, who called on him on Monday, PM Khan expressed the desire to further expand the brotherly relations with special focus on bilateral trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts. While noting the strong and robust defence ties between Pakistan and Azerbaijan, Mr Khan congratulated the leadership and people of Azerbaijan on liberation of their occupied territories, and appreciated Azerbaijan’s efforts in pursuing the objective of peace and prosperity in the South Caucasus, PM Office media wing said in a press release.

Mr Hasanov conveyed the greetings from the Azeri president to the prime minister.

He informed that a contingent of Azerbaijan armed forces would participate in the National Day Parade of Pakistan on March 23.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2022

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