Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has opened the Kuala Lumpur Summit for Muslim countries by calling for new strategies to deal with crises facing the Islamic world.
The veteran politician said that this summit provides an opportunity to discuss the issues of the Muslim world on the highest levels because, as everyone knows, the Muslim countries are facing difficult situations and see their citizens migrating to non-Muslim lands. "Fratricidal wars… and many other catastrophes," he said, continue to pose huge challenges for Muslims and Islam "without any serious effort… to end or reduce them or to rehabilitate the religion."
Although all of the Muslim countries were invited, Saudi and Egypt were noticeable by their absence, as were Pakistan and Indonesia. The Presidents of Turkey, Iran, and Qatar, as well as official representatives from 18 other states, are taking part, however, along with more than 450 intellectuals and scholars, as well as a delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.
According to reports on Al Jazeera, all of the leaders have called for the unity of the Muslim world to face the challenges and crises facing their countries.
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In his opening speech to the summit, Qatar's Emir Tamim Bin Hamad also called for dialogue among the Muslims states to solve outstanding issues, instead of blockades, force and diktats. The Emir also pointed out that there are clear double standards being imposed regarding human rights. He noted that certain blocs forget their rhetoric about the "war on terror" and ally themselves with war criminals. Before closing, he stressed that the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine is one of the main reasons for instability in the Middle East and the marginalisation of international legitimacy.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan used his address to call for the reformation of the UN Security Council. The fate of 1.7 billion Muslims around the world, he insisted, must not remain "hostage" to the five permanent members of the Council: the US, Russia, China, Britain and France.
President Erdoğan called for an end to the crimes committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, as well as for a review of relations with Israel given its Judaisation of Jerusalem and treatment of the Palestinian people. The Turkish leader stressed that his country intends to deal with the issue of "Kurdish terrorism" in the same way that has been used to deal with Daesh. He expects the summit to discuss the reasons for internal conflicts between Muslims states, terrorism, Islamophobia and the absence of justice.
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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that it is sad to see the Muslim world suffering from "major security problems." He cited the war in Syria and Yemen, as well as the chaos in Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and Afghanistan. The Palestinian cause, however, must remain the main issue of the Muslim nation. Ignoring it, insisted Rouhani, is a "deviation" from the right path.
Pointing out that economic sanctions have become a major tool for the colonial powers to inflict suffering and destruction across the world in order to impose their own agenda, the Iranian leader insisted that Muslim states must cooperate with each other on economic issues.