Istanbul, April 14 (IANS) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday called on Islamic countries to stand united against terrorism and violence, the most fundamental problems facing the Muslim world.
“We should be unifying and not a divider. We should strengthen alliances and not the controversies,” Erdogan said in his opening speech at the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that groups 57 member states, reports Xinhua news agency.
He announced that an Islamic cooperation and police coordination centre would be established in Istanbul to conduct an effective struggle against terrorism.
“The terror groups oppress and harm all Muslims,” Erdogan said, stressing the importance of coordination among the Islamic countries.
He also urged Islamic leaders to support Saudi Arabia’s suggestion about the establishment of an Islamic alliance against terrorism.
Erdogan was referring to an address on Sunday to Egypt’s parliament by Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who called for building a joint Arab power for the battle against terrorism.
Addressing the OIC summit, the group’s Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani also highlighted the spread of terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa.
“During the terrorism acts that took place within OIC member states over the last three months, around 3,000 people lost their lives, while 4,000 were injured,” he said.
Saudi King Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose countries are at odds over the conflicts in Yemen and Syria, are present as well at the two-day summit.