World Bulletin/News Desk
Former Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani was elected the next secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to succeed Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, whose term will expire at the end of this year.
Fatih Öke, an OIC spokesman, told Today's Zaman in a phone interview that Madani will officially take up the role on Jan.1, 2014, when incumbent İhsanoğlu is to step down after serving two consecutive terms as secretary-general.
The OIC leaders on Thursday elected Madani as the next secretary-general of the organization during the OIC's Feb. 6-7 summit in Cairo.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi made the announcement on Thursday during his closing statement on the final day of the summit.
Morsi also thanked İhsanoğlu for his achievements during his time in office. The president decorated İhsanoğlu with the “Nile Medal of Honor,” awarded to outstanding individuals by the Egyptian president.
Speaking at the summit on Thursday, Turkish President Abdullah Gul also thanked İhsanoğlu for his valuable efforts in restructuring and transforming the organization.
“After taking office as the ninth secretary-general of the OIC in January 2005, İhsanoğlu revised the OIC Charter, which was adopted by the OIC at the 11th Islamic Summit Conference in 2008. This new charter listed the duration of the term in office of the secretary-general as five years. Before the revision, it was eight years,” said Öke.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Gul stated that prior to İhsanoğlu, the OIC was an organization that didn't have proper rules. “İhsanoğlu regulated the organization and made reforms. The organization thus gained an institutional structure with particular rules. We know the person who will take over the position after İhsanoğlu. He is a respected person and we support him,” said Gul.
Madani will be the first Saudi to fill this key role and will become the 10th secretary-general of the OIC.
The OIC is based in Jeddah and is the second largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations.
Gul also added that Turkey would be hosting the next summit in 2016, adding that this was of great importance to Turkey. The president also added that Indonesia, Iran and Azerbaijan were the other candidates for hosting the summit but had pulled out in favor of Turkey.
“We spoke with those countries, and they pulled out in favor of Turkey. So we will host the summit in 2016 at a time when our country will also be the term president,” said Gul.Last Mod: 09 Şubat 2013, 12:50