OIC may suspend Syria’s membership

June 28, 2012, Thursday/ 11:31:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has said that if Syria does not fulfill its tasks by November, its membership of the OIC will be suspended.

Attending a conference in Beijing, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu said the situation in Syria is extremely grave, stating that bloodshed and violence in the country must end.

İhsanoğlu said the decision to suspend Syria's membership would be taken at a meeting attended by member states, adding that such a meeting will be held in November.

Answering questions from the press, İhsanoğlu stated that Turkey's attitude towards Syria was clear from the very beginning, adding that they have sent a letter to Syrian authorities via an envoy.

He added that they have suggested the reform process begin in Syria, noting that the international community has suggested the same reforms but failed to achieve success.

Touching upon the necessity of implementing the first point of the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's six point peace plan, İhsanoğlu stated that a cease-fire must be declared in Syria and sound reforms must be implemented in the country, and that dialogue with the opposition should start.

Regarding the shooting down of a Turkish jet by Syrian forces last week, İhsanoğlu said that after the incident took place on Friday the OIC made statement on Saturday, and Sunday condemned the incident on the behalf of its member states.

The OIC is the world's second-largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations, with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents.


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