Turkey Proposes Anti-Terrorism Body at OIC Summit
by VOA News April 14, 2016
Turkey's president has called for closer cooperation among Western and Muslim counties in the fight against terrorism, as he urged the leaders to tackle the problem from the security and financial fronts.
In his opening address Thursday at the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called for examining the root causes of Europe's migrant crisis.
"Once again I am calling on international community to revise their stance on terrorist organization. We need to combat terrorism by blocking financial support and stopping more people joining the terrorist organizations as well as by carrying operation on the field against them," he said.
Erdogan criticized the West for what he called an "ambivalent" approach in dealing with militant organizations.
"This ambivalent behavior saddens us," he said. "There should be full determination to fight against all terrorist organizations. Those [Western] countries who do not pay attention to our warnings will have to go through this experience personally; as a matter of fact, they are."
As it plays host to the gathering, Turkey's standing in the Muslim world is controversial, due in part to President Erdogan's ties to former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who was removed from office in 2013. Egypt's current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, is not attending the event.
Terrorism and the migrant crisis are two central issues being discussed at the OIC meeting. Erdogan announced that a Turkish proposal to establish an Istanbul-based body to combat terrorism has been accepted by the 57-member Islamic bloc.
Other areas expected to be discussed at the two-day summit include the Palestinian territories, Libya, Yemen, Syria and the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, which has been the scene of renewed violence between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces.
During the summit, Turkey is due to assume the presidency of the OIC from Egypt. Representatives from some 56 nations, including 33 presidents and prime ministers, are at the meeting.
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