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Statement by H.E Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at the EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION

January 22, 2016

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

HE Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah,

The First Deputy Prime Minister and FM of Kuwait

H.E. Secretary General,

Honorable Ministers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the outset, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Honorable Chairman for his able and dynamic leadership in guiding the work of this Session.

Today as we gather here, the Muslim world is going through a critical period of its history. We are confronted with dangerous challenges that not only affect the Muslim countries but have far-reaching implications across the world.

In this regard, the Afghan Government expresses our concern over the recent diplomatic tensions between our two brotherly countries, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

As already stated by our Government, “Afghanistan believes that the obligations stipulated in the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, and other customary international practices, particularly those related to the protection, safety and security of diplomatic and consular missions must be met by all host countries.

Doing so is not only an obligation under the provisions of the Vienna Convention, but an imperative in the context of promoting effective bilateral relations between States.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has already condemned the attacks on the embassy and the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad.

Peaceful dialogue and diplomatic engagement underpin our endeavors as OIC member states to address the challenges in our region. Afghanistan strongly believes that neither of our two brotherly Islamic countries nor the region or the world at large can benefit from the existing situation.

That is why we have already requested both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to resolve any bilateral disputes through constructive dialogue and to prevent any further escalation of tensions.

We firmly believe that the OIC is well-positioned and has the capacity to play an important role in fostering a peaceful solution to the prevailing inter-state disputes and tensions in the Middle East and elsewhere involving members of the OIC.

Mr. Chairman,

Afghanistan calls for greater and deeper unity among Muslim countries in order to strengthen our collective voice and resolve through OIC, as we convene to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world, with the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.

As member states, we need solidarity not only in words but also in effective and results-oriented deeds.

Afghanistan reiterates that we pursue friendly relations with all Muslim countries, our neighbors, and others in the international community. In this light, we emphasize the importance of further strengthening unity among Muslim nations.

And this requires the normalization of relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The peaceful resolution of their differences will not only benefit Afghanistan, as a victim of years of senseless war and violence, but our Ummah as a whole.

Mr. Chairman,

We look forward to a positive conclusion of today’s meeting. As you mentioned earlier this afternoon, we need to strengthen the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity. Similarly as Dr. Madani, so eloquently expressed in his opening remarks that, “political divisions have negative impact on the work of the OIC and weakens its position and international standing”.

We must avoid political divisions. We have many other challenges that demand our unity and solidarity. We therefore, once again call for the peaceful resolution of the diplomatic tensions between the two brotherly countries and the two important members of this august institution.

I thank you, Your Excellencies.



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