OIC Secretary General in France:
Talks with French Foreign Minister and Representatives of Muslim communities
During their talks the two officials also addressed political issues of common interest, foremost of which was the situation in Iraq, and the current crisis through which the Palestinian cause is going. Both parties underlined the crucial importance of setting up a national unity government in Palestine, and the French Minister restated the idea of holding an international conference on the issue so as to set the peace process in the Middle East in motion again.
The OIC Secretary General urged the French authorities to assume an active role in approaching the Israeli officials and impressing upon them to stop the excavation works under the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the city of Al-Quds/Jerusalem and the attempt to erect a Jewish temple next to it, in addition to intervening promptly in order to stop a known French enterprise from engaging in the extension of a railway line meant to link the Israeli settlements to the territories of the occupied West Bank.
On the same day, the Secretary General also held a meeting at the UNESCO Headquarters with ambassadors of the Islamic Group. There, he underscored the need to work effectively within UNESCO on the issue of Dialogue of Civilisations, the preservation of the historical identity of the City of Al Quds Al Shareef, and the propagation of research and technology centres in countries of the Muslim world. The ambassadors expressed their interest in these proposals and gave assurances that UNESCO will soon play greater role in international relations where special importance will be given to the cultural field.
Jeddah: 30 January 2007