Egyptian President and head of the 12th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Mohammed Morsi, stated that the Palestinian cause is and will remain a cornerstone for achieving security and stability in the world. He also stated that it would remain the organisation's main "cause and top priority".
In a speech he made this afternoon after assuming presidency of the 12th Islamic Summit in Cairo, Morsi stressed that the support of the Palestinian people, the restoration of their rights, and the establishment of a sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital was the organization's most important objective.
He also added that "Egypt, along with its revolution that upholds the values of freedom, democracy, Al-Shura, and social justice, as well as its history which attests that it has been the shield of the nation and its hopes throughout the ages, is clearly dedicated to the support of the Palestinian people and is committed to lifting their cause until they gain their freedom and independent state."
He went on to say, "As a sign of this unwavering commitment, Egypt has strived on behalf of our besieged brothers in Gaza and put an end to the brutal assault they suffered from last November, and we thank Allah for helping us to put an end to the bloodshed of innocents."
Furthermore, Morsi congratulated the Palestinians on "their success following the decision by the General Assembly to upgrade Palestine to a non-member observer state in the UN, which never would have been achieved without the joint efforts put forth to support the Palestinian decision.
This is proof that our unity and cooperation is enough for us to achieve our common goals."
He also called for a unified Islamic decision to deal with the unrestrained increase in the seizure of Palestinian land, to hold the international community to its responsibilities, and to take definitive and effective measures to stop illegal settlement immediately as it is a harsh blow to the peace process."
He noted that "there is no peace and the Palestinians are not getting their rights," and pointed out that the Summit will have a special session on Wednesday evening to negotiate the issue of settlements. He called on leaders to actively and positively contribute to the deliberations of the session.
The events of the 12th Islamic Cooperation Summit were launched in Cairo on Wednesday afternoon. The conference was attended by leaders and officials from 26 countries.
The summit's opening ceremony began with a recitation from the Holy Quran followed by a speech from the Senegalese President, Macky Sall, in which he called for the adoption of moderation, compassion and peace among Islamic countries.
Sall also mentioned other issues in the region pointing out that the Syrian people are subject to violence on a daily basis; that there are still obstacles to be overcome in order to establish a Palestinian state; and that Mali is threatened by terrorism which it must be helped in eliminating and which he stresses, distorts the image of Islam.
After his speech, Sall handed over the summit to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
The issues of the Palestinian conflict and Israeli settlements are scheduled to be the focus of the summit's discussions alongside developments in the Syrian crisis, the situation in Somalia, political issues impacting the organization's member countries and the conflicts in the Muslim World.
The summit will also address the matter of battling the defamation of Islam and its followers, known as Islamophopia, as well as activities promoting tolerance, moderation, manners of communicating with non-Muslim communities and the conditions of Muslim communities in non-member countries.