Turkish FM, OIC chief visit Rohingya Muslims

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with persecuted Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar, with OIC head Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu calling for confidence and trust between Muslims and Buddhists.

Turkish FM, OIC chief visit Rohingya Muslims

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Muslims in the Burmese state of Rohingya during his trip to Myanmar.

Secretary General of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and a delegation from OIC's Rohingya contact group accompanied Davutoglu.

"There is improvement, if little, in their state of living," he said following the tour in the camps near the town of Sittwe. "But there's so much more to do."

Davutoglu said he also visited representatives of the Buddhist community.

"We took the opportunity to listen to both sides and convey the work of OIC and Turkey towards ethnic and sectarian peace. It was a fruitful visit."

Myanmar has seen in intermittent religiously-motivated clashes since two major waves of riots mainly against the Muslim population there in June and October last year.

The violence has resulted in the killing of several hundred people and left well over 100,000 displaced.


Muslims and Buddhists have never clashed with each other, which makes the situation in Rakhine so distressing, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said on Friday.

During his visit to Myanmar with his accompanying "Contact Group on Rohingya" delegation from seven member states, Ihsanoglu emphasized the need to build confidence and trust within Buddhist and Muslim communities.

"There is a lack of confidence between the two communities", said Ihsanoglu, expressing a contrast that Buddhists and Muslims have never clashed with each other in history.

Warning against the repercussion effects the situation in Myanmar can make in other countries with similar demographics, Ihsanoglu said, "For instance, there had never been a strife between Muslims and Buddhists in Sri Lanka; but the crisis in Myanmar spreaded there too".

Ihsanoglu called all member states of OIC to give support to the organisation in its efforts to help the crisis end in Myanmar.

"People welcomed the delegation with enthusiasm; I hope that our contacts will create auspicious consequences", said Ihsanoglu.

Ihsanoglu also made remarks on the escalating sectarian violence in the Islamic world.

"Politicians are using sectarian differences to their own ends", said Ihsanoglu, emphasizing that the situation has gone far beyond sectarian or religious issues.

Last Mod: 16 Kasım 2013, 11:22
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