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Islamic world must attain its rightful position: Rouhani

Rouhani also expressed hope that the conference would find tangible solutions for the problems facing Muslims.

Source : Tehran times / 22 Feb 2014

The ninth session of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (PUIC) kicked off in Tehran on Tuesday, with the attendance of representatives from 47 OIC member states.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani took over the rotating presidency of the conference from Sudanese National Assembly Speaker Al-Fateh Ezzedin for one year.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Larijani, and Ezzedin delivered speeches during the opening ceremony of the conference.

Twenty-eight parliament speakers and 14 deputy speakers of OIC member states are attending the conference, which is being held on the theme of “Islamic parliaments: Solidarity, Progress, and Justice”.

In his speech, President Rouhani called for measures to improve security and boost the economy in the Islamic world in order to bring about “lasting peace and sustainable development” and to promote the Islamic culture.

He added that the Islamic Republic of Iran “wishes the best” for all Muslim countries and regards their “progress” and “glory” as its own.

Rouhani also expressed hope that the conference would find tangible solutions for the problems facing Muslims.

He also said that he was optimistic that the conference would increase cooperation and common understanding between Iran and all other Islamic countries.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said that today, Muslims are facing various challenges, including security problems, economic crises, the Syria crisis, and the Palestine question.

However, in light of Muslims’ enormous economic wealth and their countries’ critical geopolitical position, they should have a more proper role in the world, he added.

Rouhani asked if it is fair that the Islamic world is torn by “extremism and terrorism” and sectarian and tribal conflicts that lead to the death of Muslims, and that Islam, which is the religion of mercy and kindness, is being presented to the world through the prism of Islamophobia.

He also said that Muslim nations, by virtue of their possession of abundant natural resources and their control of sensitive geostrategic locations in the world, should be enjoying a much better situation in the world in comparison to other nations.

‘Arrogant powers use terrorism to threaten Muslims’

In his speech to the conference, Larijani said that the arrogant powers make “tactical” use of “terrorism” in order to threaten various Muslim nations, such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

But if Islamic countries utilize their vast potential in various areas, they will acquire an honorable position vis-à-vis the arrogant powers, he noted.

The Iranian Majlis speaker also hailed the recent wave of Islamic Awakening in regional Muslim countries, underlining that such democratic movements will strengthen unity in the Islamic ummah (community).

‘Extremism a major challenge for Islamic world’

The Sudanese parliament speaker, who is the former rotating president of the union, also delivered a speech in which he described “extremism” as one of the biggest challenges facing the Islamic world.

Ezzedin called for more unity among Muslims and said the PUIC should convey the message of Islam to the world.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he touched on the union’s objectives and said that the PUIC should take measures to promote scientific research and bridge scientific gaps in Muslim countries.

The PUIC was established in 1999 and consists of 53 members and 22 regional, international, and parliaments observers. Its permanent headquarters is in Tehran.

It seeks to strengthen parliamentary cooperation among Islamic countries in order to solve challenges facing the Islamic world.

According to the PUIC website, one of the objectives of the union is to provide a framework for comprehensive and fruitful cooperation and coordination among parliaments of OIC members.

The eighth meeting of the PUIC was held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum in January, 2013.


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