World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish President Abdullah Gul called on Muslim countries to fight against Islamophobia during his address on Tuesday at the 29th session of the COMCEC held in Istanbul.
"Islamophobia remains a critical problem, which instigates unsubstantial prejudices against our region and Muslims. Terror plays a role in the persistence of such problems. We have to combat any form of deviation playing into the hands of people who equate terrorism with Islam, the religion of love, tolerance and conciliation," Gul said during his inaugural address.
COMCEC, which is the main multilateral economic and commercial cooperation platform of the Muslim world, convenes annually at a ministerial level in Istanbul, Turkey under the chairmanship of the President of Turkey. So far, it has regularly convened 28 sessions.
"Playing a more active role in the solution of global problems such as climate change, poverty, the fight against organized crime, immigration, radicalism, narcotics and human trafficking will certainly introduce new economic and commercial opportunities for Muslim countries," Gul emphasized.
The Turkish president stressed that conducting business in the best and proper manner would also contribute to the elimination of negative perceptions about Muslims.
In his speech, Gul also indicated political and economic turmoil in the world by saying, "The Muslim world is influenced by such difficulties to a great extent. A part of the Muslim world is in turmoil and we face saddening images each and every day. Civil war in the neighbouring country of Syria has turned into the self-destruction of a nation. It is primarily our duty to put out the fire, whether it occurs at our home or at a neighbour's. Otherwise, the cost will be massive for all of us."
"The primary work to be done is the increase of capital mobility among COMCEC countries," he added.
For his part, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stressed the importance role of COMCEC. "The organisation is now considered, within the global sphere, as a credible actor for promoting socio-economic development and contributing to international peace and security," Ihsanoglu said.
COMCEC was established by the Third Islamic Summit Conference held in Mecca in 1981, and became operational at the Fourth Islamic Summit Conference held in 1984 with the election of the President of the Republic of Turkey to its chairmanship.
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