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OIC chief meets senior EU officials in Brussels

Jeddah (IINA) � Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen concluded a two-day visit to Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday during which he had several important engagements with senior EU officials, both at bilateral and multilateral levels.

Dr. Othaimeen held meetings with High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini; Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Didier Reynders, and Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States Patrick I. Gomes.

He also attended and made intervention during the 'International High-Level Conference on Mediation, under the theme of "Possibilities and Limits � Recent Experiences in the Pursuit of Peace", organized by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The OIC-EU bilateral cooperation, possible role of OIC in promoting tolerance, peaceful coexistence, respect for minorities and diversity, engaging Muslim communities in Europe in dealing with the threat of radicalism and extremism were among the main issues discussed with the EU high representative.

Secretary General Al-Othaimeen and Minister Reynders agreed to work on developing more structured cooperation framework between the OIC and Belgium. Al-Othaimeen's discussion with the ACP Secretary General Patrick I. Gomes focused on economic cooperation with particular emphasis on trade and investment promotion, food security and enhanced interaction towards formalizing OIC-ACP relations.

The OIC delegation also held bilateral consultation with their EU counterparts, which was the first step toward operationalizing the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two blocs in 2015.

The delegation members exchanged views and identified possibilities for cooperation on several political files, including the Middle East Peace Process and Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, in addition to some particular cultural, socio-economic and humanitarian domains.

The OIC secretary general is expected to attend the Munich Security Conference (MSC), in Germany on Friday, at an invitation from German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Source: International Islamic News Agency