ISTANBUL, Turkey, April 14 (UPI) — Acting on a proposal by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Muslim nations agreed Thursday to establish an Istanbul-based body to fight terrorism.
During the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Erdogan noted terrorism is the biggest problem facing Muslim nations.
“Once again, I call on the international bodies to review their approaches to terrorist organizations,” Erdogan said during his opening speech at the OIC. “It is necessary to conduct operations against terror organizations on the ground, while there should [also] be efforts to target those organizations’ financial and human resources.
“For that, international cooperation is vital. Establish a body that would solidify and institutionalize cooperation against terror with the OIC is the right step to take.”
Turkey is host of the two-day OIC summit for the first time since 1969. Founded in 1969, the OIC consists of 57 member states and represents the collective voice of the Islamic world.
The Turkish leader urged Muslims to overcome “the instigation of sectarianism.”
He said, “my religion is neither Sunni or Shia. My religion is Islam.”
Erdogan said the Islamic world should deal with terrorism and other crises themselves instead of waiting for “other powers to intervene.”
The Turkish leader also applauded the OIC members after accepting Turkey’s proposal to set up a multinational police coordination center for Islamic states to fight militants based in Istanbul.
The high-level meeting of Muslim leaders is also expected to discuss the situations in Syria, Yemen, Palestinian territory, Iraq and Azerbaijan.