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Statement of H.E. OIC Secretary General at the Third Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, Istanbul, 8 June 2010

H.E. Abdullah Gull, President of the Republic of Turkey,

Excellencies,

Honorable Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to address the 3rd Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) holding in Istanbul. I wish to congratulate Turkey for assuming the chairmanship of the Conference and express my appreciation to the Republic of Kazakhstan for the effective leadership of CICA during its tenure.
Today, CICA after going through a long evolution is always referred to as an important international mechanism and a new credible platform for cooperation, peace and security in Asia. It also possesses the capacity to deal with the numerous challenges in the region.

Mr. President,

The OIC, as the second largest intergovernmental organization after the UN, has always attached great importance to developing cooperation with other regional and international organizations. With 14 coinciding member states with the CICA, the OIC also shares some common concerns and issues on its agenda.

As Muslim Asian countries are important part of the OIC membership, our Organization is very proud of their contribution. The OIC countries in Asia have huge potentials and capabilities for joint actions in Asia in various fields. These potentials cannot be fully harnessed if peace, security and stability elude the region or confidence and trust are lacking.

Furthermore, for the first time in OIC history, Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) was held in Dushanbe in May 2010 which should be perceived as a sign of growing interest of the OIC and its Member States in Central Asia. During the Special Brainstorming Session on the margins of the CFM, many constructive ideas were raised for the development of cooperation and solidarity among the Central Asian countries and a specific resolution was adopted to this end. At this point, allow me also to thank Kazakhstan for their call towards OIC to be an observer to CICA which we consider positively.

Today, Asia is facing key challenges which are endangering peace and security in the continent and beyond. While resolving some of those challenges could help create confidence and trust, inaction has obvious adverse consequences. Allow me to touch on some important issues in this context.

While reiterating our strong condemnation of the recent brutal attack by the Israeli forces against the 'Freedom Flotilla' headed to Gaza, we believe that a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East by putting an end to occupation and establishing of an independent and viable Palestinian State on all Palestinian territories with East Jerusalem as its capital, could bring durable peace, security and confidence to the region.

Mr. President,

Central Asian countries can surely and satisfactorily address the peace and security challenges facing the region if they engage in confidence building measures. Some of the several challenges in the region are similar to the rest of the Muslim world, hence the need for joint actions.

Iraq, Afghanistan and aggression against Azerbaijan are still some main issues on the agenda of the OIC’s meetings. The Iraqi people and leadership who always enjoy our full support have proved their desire to go forward and not to allow national reconciliation efforts be undermined and their country be turned into a breeding ground for terrorism.

The situation in Afghanistan attests to the inefficacy of the military option in the search for a lasting solution to the conflict. We rather believe in a comprehensive settlement that combines the political, economic, social and cultural dimensions on the ground. I hope that the regional initiatives, in which the OIC also plays an important role, would help the process of facilitating efforts leading to peace, stability and national reconciliation in Afghanistan. The same hope is for the outcome of the International Conference to be held in Kabul in July 2010.

Mr. President,

There is a deep concern about the risk of the nuclear weapon proliferation in the Middle East. Arising from this development the OIC has been calling for a nuclear weapon free zone in the region. We are happy that at the end of the last month NPT Review Conference a decision was made to call for a conference on a nuclear weapon free Middle East in 2012. Fortunately, the Treaty on a nuclear weapon free zone in Central Asia was signed in Kazakhstan in 2006 which is an important element for the strengthening of nuclear nonproliferation.

At the same time, we support the inalienable right of all states to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Mr. President,

As CICA is now a full-fledged forum for dialogue and the search for solutions to problems in Asia, there is now strong hope to address the existing challenges in the region. CICA, in its difficult mission, can surely count and consider the OIC as a genuine partner.
Thank you for your kind attention.