Foreign Minister Hassan Mahmud on Tuesday called on the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take appropriate measures to end the conflict in Gaza and ensure human rights for the Palestinian people by considering possible alternatives.

He made the call while addressing an extraordinary meeting of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Jeddah that discussed the continued Israeli aggression against Palestinian people.

OIC Secretary-General Hissein Brahim Taha also addressed the opening session of the meeting.

The foreign minister reiterated Bangladesh's strong support to Palestine and called for an immediate ceasefire, ensuring the humanitarian corridor remains open.

He emphasized on the Islamic financial safety net to ensure the basic needs of the Palestinians.

The Foreign Minister referred to Bangladesh's strong statement at the International Court of Justice in February 2024 regarding the legal consequences arising from Israel's policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and expressed hope that peace would soon be established in the region as demanded by the Muslim Ummah.

Minister Hasan said for this there is no alternative to the unity of the Muslim Ummah and the determination of all parties.

He also highlighted the need to reform the UN Security Council to reach decisions on issues of global importance.

Meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister and OIC Secretary General

Foreign Minister Hasan met Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and OIC Secretary General at the organization's secretariat in Jeddah.

In the meeting with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Minister Hassan expressed his satisfaction with the bilateral engagement between the two brotherly countries and hoped that this cooperation will deepen in the coming days.

He expressed hope that the proposed visit of Saudi Crown Prince to Bangladesh will take place soon at a convenient time.

The Saudi Foreign Minister said that further discussions will be held on the upcoming visit and Saudi Arabia considers its engagement with Bangladesh on the basis of advanced economic cooperation.

In a meeting with the OIC Secretary General, the foreign minister reiterated Bangladesh's strong support for Palestine, stressing the need for Muslim countries to unite under the leadership of the OIC.

Minister Hassan appreciated the OIC's relentless support and cooperation for the Rohingya crisis, particularly the OIC's efforts to raise funds for the Rohingya case filed by Gambia at the ICJ, and hoped that it would continue.

He invited the OIC Secretary General to visit Bangladesh to see the current situation of Rohingyas.

Foreign Minister Hasan called for greater trade and investment among OIC member countries to counter the dire economic situation globally caused by the Russia-Ukraine war and proposed the formation of a cell in the OIC Secretariat to disseminate trade-related information to members.

Both the Saudi Foreign Minister and the OIC Secretary General congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on forming the government for the 4th consecutive time, and expressed full cooperation on the Rohingya issue.

Earlier, Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) was held at the headquarters of the OIC's General Secretariat, on Monday.

Ambassador Samir Bakr, the Assistant Secretary-General for Palestine and Al-Quds Affairs delivered the General Secretariat's speech, referring to the horrific massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces, which claimed the lives of hundreds of martyrs and wounded while they were waiting to receive food aid at the end of last February.

Bakr said that this massacre constituted an example and witness to the war crimes practiced by the Israeli occupation army, which necessitates redoubling legal efforts, especially at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice, as they are a legitimate and effective tool for holding the Israeli occupation accountable.

Bakr also said that Israel, the occupying power, continuing to carry out bloody crimes and massacres against the Palestinian people calls for a more effective movement with a more profound impact on the international arena, with the aim of confronting this brutal Israeli aggression by all legitimate and possible means, including political, legal, and media efforts, in implementation of the resolutions adopted by the Joint Arab and Islamic Summit held on November 11, 2023, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In November last year, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted the extraordinary joint Arab and Islamic Summit, in Riyadh, jointly organized by the OIC and the League of Arab States.

The Conference adopted a number of decisions, in particular assigning a committee of the Foreign Ministers of Member States, to tour world capitals and international organizations in order to stop Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.

As part of its continued efforts to stop the brutal Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people since October 7, the OIC also held an open-ended executive committee extraordinary meeting at the foreign minister level, at its headquarters on October 18 last year.

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