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FM Qureshi attends OIC emergency meeting on Islamophobia in Istanbul

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ISTANBUL: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is attending an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the New Zealand mosque attacks and “increasing violence based on Islamophobia” in Istanbul today (Friday).

Qureshi was welcomed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The foreign minister met his Iranian and Afghan counterparts and Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah.

FM Qureshi will address the OIC meeting shortly and present his viewpoint on last week’s attacks on two mosques in Christchurch which killed 50, including nine Pakistanis. The foreign minister will also present Pakistan’s stance on Islamophobia.

Foreign ministers of over 20 Muslims countries are attending the OIC’s emergency meeting in Istanbul.

The Turkish foreign minister is chairing the meeting to which apart from the OIC members, the representatives of the United Nations, the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are also invited.

A statement released by Turkey’s foreign ministry on Thursday stated, “Turkey, as the OIC Summit Chair, has called upon holding an emergency meeting for discussing the increasing violence based on Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, in particular the terrorist attack that targeted two mosques in New Zealand on 15 March 2019.”

The Azaan was heard across New Zealand on Friday, as thousands gathered to remember the 50 people martyred by a lone gunman at two mosques a week ago. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led thousands of mourners gathered at a park in front of the Al Noor Mosque, where most of the victims died, for a prayer followed by two minutes of silence.

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