Islamic Nations Split over OIC Leadership Post

Published June 28th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Islamic foreign ministers stressed unity to face economic and political challenges but remained divided Wednesday on a candidate to lead the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). 

The secretary-general's post is traditionally filled by consensus although the OIC charter allows a vote, said Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar who is chairing a four-day meeting of foreign ministers in Kuala Lambur. 

"Currently we have not achieved consensus. I am still in the process of consulting member states, heads of delegation and talking to them. There is no final decision yet on how we should go about it," he told a press conference. 

"The tradition is that we try to achieve consensus. It is not the practice that we put the matter to a vote." 

Candidates from Bangladesh, Morocco and Turkey are vying to replace Ezeddine Laraki of Morocco, whose four-year term expires at the end of December. 

Syed Hamid said talks were continuing on the sidelines of the conference and there were "ways of resolving" the issue. He declined to elaborate. 

The post rotates between Asia, the Arab world and Africa and it is the turn of the Asian group, which includes Turkey, to produce a leader. 

Turkey's candidate Yasar Yakis has lobbied hard for support as Ankara seeks more clout in the Muslim world. "We want to show that secularism and Islam can co-habit," Yakis said this month. 

The others are Morocco's former foreign minister Abdelouahed Belkeziz and Bangladeshi parliament speaker Humayun Choudhury. 

Syed Hamid said an economic committee has adopted Malaysia's proposal to push for reforms to the international financial architecture. A resolution will be forwarded to all the ministers on Friday. 

Malaysia accuses currency speculators of triggering the Asian financial crisis - KUALA LAMBUR (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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