Amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, Shaikh Abdullah said the OIC needed to have a stronger role in consolidating international peace efforts.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation opened the two-day conference – which started on Friday morning – in the presence of Dr Yousuf Al Othaimeen, secretary general of the organisation, with the participation of 56 member states and five observer states.

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India was invited as the guest of honour at the conference. Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj, offered peace and called for combating terror in her speech. However, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Quraishi boycotted the OIC meeting in protest over India being invited to the event.

“This OIC meeting focuses on the Palestinian cause, especially as there is a tendency towards normalisation with the occupying state by some Islamic countries, which we have seen recently,” said Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad Al Maliki.

Palestinian Foreign Minister expressed his optimism saying, the “focus would return to Palestine after this conference in the UAE capital, with the event hopefully helping to alert member countries to the nature of adjustments being made in the United Nations, leading to the possible rectifying of this issue”.

“Hope this meeting would strengthen the Palestinian resolve and that Islamic nations would provide support to the Palestinian cause so that they can confront the occupying state with its actions in the holy city, especially with regard to Al Aqsa Mosque”, Maliki added.

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