Representatives of 49 Muslim countries have met in Jakarta for the start of the extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where they are due to discuss conditions in the Palestinian territories.
The foreign ministers of Afghanistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia were among those in attendance on Sunday, according to witness reports.
Ministers and delegates gathered at the Jakarta Convention Centre where they greeted one another and posed for photographs ahead of high-level meetings between the heads of state scheduled to be held Monday.
A statement from Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said more than 500 delegates from the 49 OIC member states were due to be in attendance, as well as four representatives from the so-called Quartet on the Middle East (the USA, Russia, the UN and the European Union), five UN Security Council representatives, and three observer countries, the Jakarta Globe reports.
The extraordinary summit, which is being held at the request of Palestine, will address the escalation of Israeli violence in the occupied territories, and restrictions on access to the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.
‘This high-level summit is expected to push international forums to prioritise the issue of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) as the situation (there) is worrying,’ Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said in the statement.
Participants are expected to produce a resolution to reaffirm OIC member countries’ support of an independent Palestine.