Former Saudi minister to head OIC
Cairo, February 8, 2013
A former Saudi minister, Iyad Madani, was last night named as the next head of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) and will be succeeding Turkey's Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.
Madani was named at the end of the two-day summit and will take over in January from Ihsanoglu, who since 2005 has headed the 57-member group based in Jeddah, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
A diplomat said Saudi Arabia nominated the former information minister in a possible sign of strains between Saudi Arabia and post-revolution Egypt, which were close allies under now toppled president Hosni Mubarak.
Saudi Arabia wants to "regain the initiative against Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt, which (as host of summit) takes over the presidency of the group", the source said.
At the meeting, the OIC also backed His Majesty King Hamad's call to resume the National Dialogue.
The two-day summit, which ended last night, issued a final communique calling on all political forces to respond positively to the Royal call and resume the dialogue for the sake of Bahrain's progress and prosperity and citizens' welfare.
Addressing the session on behalf of His Majesty, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa stressed the hopes pinned on the summit to promote Islamic unity.
He stressed the need to pass legislations to counter Islamophobia, defamation of Prophet Mohammed and desecration of the Quran.
He paid tribute to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for promoting dialogue between religions, cultures and civilisations.-TradeArabia News Service