Sierra Leone’s President has told leaders of the 57-Member State Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that the right to self –determination is an inalienable right of people the world over; irrespective of their size, race, color or ethnic origin and that right must be respected by all and sundry.
The statement was made on behalf of His Excellency, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura Kamara at the Fifth Extraordinary OIC Summit on Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif hosted at the Jakarta Convention Center, Indonesia from 6th -7th March, 2016.
Two states, Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security is the only viable option and goal that we ought to pursue, the President said in his message to the OIC leaders in his statement read by the Foreign Minister.
In the statement, President Koroma, like the other OIC leaders, endorsed the French Initiative calling for the establishment of an international group of support and for holding an international peace conference as a spring board to re-launch a realistic roadmap for the peace process that would put an end to occupation and pave the way for the achievement of the two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.
The Jakarta Declaration issued at the end of two-day summit reiterated support for the Palestinian cause as the Muslim leaders from the 49 member states attending the Summit. Sierra Leone reaffirmed its principled position on both the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the two-state solution with Al-Quds Al-Sharif (East Jerusalem) as the capital of the State of Palestine and, the State of Israel living in secured borders and at peace with each other. Sierra Leone expressed the spirit of Islamic unity and solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Declaration stressed the need for the enhancement of efforts by Muslim countries and the OIC for the just solution to Palestine issue and extended support for the social and religious rights of the Palestinian people.
It also called on the international community to urge the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to address the question of Israel’s illegal settlements that undermines the two-state solution, enthrone peace and provide international protection to the Palestinian people.
The Declaration called for the intensification of efforts to support Palestinian national reconciliation under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas in order to solidify the stance of the Palestinian people in combating the occupation.
In a meeting held on the sidelines of the summit, Dr. Samura Kamara suggested to the OIC Secretary General, H.E Iyad Ameen the need for devising a strategy to find solutions to the problems and conflicts particularly confronting the Muslim countries.
In a joint news conference with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, Dr. Samura Kamara told reporters that he was confident the summit would be a major milestone in enhancing solidarity among OIC member countries and supporting the Palestinian cause.
Some of the world leaders in attendance included: The host Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, Palestine President, Mahmoud Abbas, Mamnoon Hussain of Pakistan, Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of Yemen, Gambia’s Vice President, Isatou Njie-Saidy, Foreign Ministers and representatives of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya and representatives from United States, Russia, UN, European Union, among others.
Dr. Samura Kamara was also accompanied by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Permanent Representative to the OIC, Alhaji M.S Kargbo, Minister Counsellor/ Head of Chancery at the Sierra Leone Embassy in Riyadh, Sulay-Manah Kpukumu and the Director of Asia and Middle East at the Foreign Ministry, Al-Hassan Kondeh.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.