News / Middle East

    Islamic Summit Ends With Call for Dialogue in Syria

    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (C) chatting with officials during the closing session of the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo, February 7, 2013.
    Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (C) chatting with officials during the closing session of the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo, February 7, 2013.
    Elizabeth Arrott
    Leaders of Muslim nations meeting in Cairo called Thursday for greater effort to bring the war in Syria to a negotiated end.

    The two-day summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation wrapped up as Islamic leaders backed a plan by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi for dialogue among Syrians to end the brutal civil war.

    They urged opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to meet with “untainted” government officials.   

    Morsi said everyone at the summit agreed on the need to ramp up efforts to end what he called “the tragedy that the Syrian people are living.”

    Syria's opposition coalition is urging the government to sit down for talks but with conditions. The government has not formally responded.

    The 57-member Islamic group suspended Syria last year because of nearly two years of violence it blames largely on the government.  There was no conference demand for President Assad to step down, as some individual leaders have called for in the past.


    • Leaders of nations taking part in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's two-day summit, which brings together leaders from across the Muslim world, pose for a group photograph in Cairo, February 6, 2013.
    • Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi listens to his Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr during the opening of the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo, Egypt, February 6, 2013.
    • Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, surrounded by security and members of his delegation at the 12th summit of the OIC, February 6, 2013.
    • Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi greets Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the opening OIC summit in Cairo, February 6, 2013.
    • Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Cairo, February 6, 2013.
    • Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (2nd R) talks with other attendees before the start of the OIC summit in Cairo February 6, 2013.
    • Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends the OIC summit in Cairo, February 6, 2013.
    • A man holds a sign in Arabic reading, "(Ahmedinejad) You are not welcome in Egypt", in front of the al-Azhar mosque during Ahmedinejad's visit in Cairo, February 5, 2013.
    • Photographers take pictures of Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) before the start of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Cairo, February 6, 2013.
    • Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi participate in an arrival ceremony at the airport in Cairo, Egypt, February 5, 2013. (Egyptian Presidency Handout)

    Mali discussed

    Morsi, whose nation has been given the rotating chair of the group, said the talks also confirmed support among members for the unity and sovereignty of Mali, where French forces have intervened to battle Islamic militants.

    He stressed the importance of mobilizing developmental efforts in the African nation, and elsewhere, and providing humanitarian relief for refugees.

    In addition, the OIC announced an upcoming donors' conference and the creation of what it called an Islamic Financial Safety Net for Palestinians.

    A statement at the end of the conference said that the Palestinian issue proved to remain the top priority of the group.

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