Pakistan to host OIC moot on Afghanistan for first time in four decades


ISLAMABAD – Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced on Saturday that an extraordinary session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will be held in Pakistan later this month to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Addressing a press conference, he said that the meeting of foreign ministers from Islamic countries will be held in Islamabad on December 19.

He added that delegations from the European Union and the so-called P5 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China have also been invited to the moot.

Qureshi warned that abandoning Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake, adding that half the country’s population on the brink of starvation amid harsh cold weather.

“Instability could cause more conflicts, it could trigger an exodus of refugees,” he said.

Earlier this week, the foreign minister appreciated Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s  – the OIC Summit Chair – decision to hole an Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, to consider the situation in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a founding member of the OIC. As part of the Islamic Ummah, we are bound by fraternal bonds of amity and brotherhood with the people of Afghanistan, he said.

“Today, our Afghan brothers and sisters need us more than ever before. As you are aware, Afghanistan currently faces a serious humanitarian situation – millions of Afghans including women and children confront an uncertain future due to shortage of food, medicine, and other essential life supplies. The advent of winter has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis,” read the statement.

The OIC must step-in to help our Afghan brethren. We should step-up our collective efforts to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people, provide immediate and sustained support to them, and continue to remain engaged with them for the well-being and prosperity of Afghanistan.

The 1st Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Islamabad, in January 1980, on the situation in Afghanistan.

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