Turkey proposes EU-OIC meeting on Islamophobia, racism

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    Istanbul later this year could host a joint forum of the EU and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the threat of Islamophobia and related hate movements, said Turkey’s foreign minister on Friday.

    “We are disturbed by racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia in Europe and beyond,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Brussels, following a EU-OIC meeting on the issues of Palestine and Jerusalem.

    The forum “could be held in late fall” after the UN General Assembly in New York, he suggested.

    “Our colleagues are working on the agenda and date of the event,” he added, urging “a common struggle against” Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism.

    Along with Cavusoglu, representing Turkey as the OIC term president, other leaders at the meeting included EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, OIC Secretary General Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

    At the meeting, issues and problems both the OIC and EU are dealing with were discussed, said Cavusoglu.

    “One of the issues is the status of Palestine and Jerusalem, and what can be done to counter the decision taken by the United States,” he said, referring to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    He added that both Turkey and EU reiterated that they favor a two-state solution in the Middle East.

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