OIC: Morocco’s King Reiterates Call for Ending Illegitimate Israeli actions; Supporting Vulnerable Muslim African Countries

King Mohammed VI, chairman of Al Quds Committee, has reiterated urgent call for ending the illegitimate, unilateral Israeli measures carried out in the occupied Palestinian territories, including al-Quds al-Sharif and the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

In his speech, read out on his behalf by minister of Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq at the 15th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which opened Saturday in Banjul (Gambia), the Monarch voiced his total rejection of any attempt to alter the legal and cultural status of the city of al-Quds al-Sharif.

“I also categorically reject all forms of forced displacement, collective punishment, and reprisals suffered by our Palestinian brothers and sisters”, added the King, saying that continuing to manage the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the absence of a realistic, sustainable solution has generated frustration and loss of hope.

“It has also led to a series of appalling catastrophes and humanitarian tragedies, in addition to increasing the possibility of dangerous ripple effects, not only on stability and peace in the Middle East, but also on global security”, said the Moroccan Sovereign.

He called on the countries that can influence the settlement process of this conflict to live up to their historic responsibility in a bid to put an end to this catastrophic situation and help the region emerge from the cycle of violence by contributing to relaunching a genuine peace process leading to the internationally agreed upon two-state solution.

Following the brutal aggression on Gaza, “my heart bleeds for the proud Palestinian people, who now live in extremely dangerous conditions that are a stain on the world’s conscience”, said the King, noting that tension is exacerbated further by the increasing frequency of systematic attacks by extremist settlers on the West Bank, at the behest of Israeli government officials.

He reiterated urgent call for an immediate, sustainable and comprehensive end to these unprecedented acts of aggression, and for allowing unfettered access of humanitarian aid to the entire Gaza Strip.

To alleviate the sufferings of the Palestinian people, the Monarch recalled the humanitarian assistance delivered directly to Gaza and to al-Quds, as well as the support provided by Bayt Mal al-Quds Agency to the inhabitants of al-Quds and to some hospitals.
“I should like to stress that the current talk about the future of the Gaza Strip will make sense only when attacks stop, and when all forms of suffering experienced by the Palestinian people are lifted”, underlined the Monarch, affirming that Gaza Strip is a Palestinian matter; it is also part of the unified Palestinian territories, which must enjoy peace and independence, in keeping with a two-state solution and in accordance with international resolutions.

This Islamic Summit is also being held at a time when several regions in our Islamic world are still experiencing political and military tensions as well as challenges to their security, said the King, noting that this situation is affecting several OIC African member countries.

He stressed the need to support the least developed OIC African member countries in order to help them take up the various challenges affecting their development and progress.

The Moroccan King urged OIC and its specialized agencies to assist Muslim African countries within the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity to enable them benefit from the OIC development programs.

These Muslim African countries are facing increasing threats to their energy and food security as well as to their economic growth. This situation is having a negative impact on their stability and is worsening their social and economic conditions, underlined the Monarch.

“Convinced of the importance of South-South cooperation, I have launched the Atlantic Initiative as a platform for African partnership”, said the King, explaining that the main goal is to strengthen cooperation and integration between the African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean and thus promote peace, stability and shared prosperity in the region.

“I have also announced the launching of an initiative at the international level to enable the countries of the Sahel to have access to the Atlantic Ocean”, said the Monarch, citing in this regard the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline project which seeks to promote regional integration, a joint economic take-off and a genuine industrial dynamic in the Atlantic region.

Regarding the conflicts in Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, the Monarch called for dialogue and reconciliation between the parties to put an end to these conflicts and preserve the sovereignty of these countries as well as their national and territorial integrity.