OIC summit presiden Morsi urges Syria unity

CNC report from Cairo
Added On February 8, 2013

26 heads of states and officials from dozens of other countries are gathering in Egypt to tackle challenges facing the Muslim world.

The 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation kicked off on Wednesday, with the crisis in Syria topping the agenda.

In his opening speech at the IOC summit, Egyptian President Muhamed Morsi denounced extremism and Islamophobia as major challenges facing the Muslim world.

Regarding the Syrian conflict, Morsi urged all Syrian opposition factions to unite to solve the crisis, and reaffirmed Egypt's rejection of foreign military interference in Syria.

"The Syrian government must draw lessons from history: it is the people who remain. Those who put their personal interests above the interests of their people will end up leaving."

He invited OIC member states to support regional and international efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Syria itself was not present at the summit after being suspended from the organization last August.

The Syrian opposition said it had not received an invitation and would not attend.

The battles in Mali were also a focus of the two-day meeting.

Morsi expressed concern over the crisis and stressed Egypt's support for the unity of Malian territories and the safety of its people.

"We called for the establishment of an active mechanism to peacefully settle disputes and deal with all the crisis facing Islamic states."

The OIC currently has 56 members.

It is the first OIC summit hosted by Egypt since the establishment of the organization in 1969.