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OIC delegation to visit China to observe first-hand Muslim Uyghurs' conditions in Xinjiang province

Date: 15/08/2009
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A high-ranking delegation representing the Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and led by Ambassador Syed Kacim Al Masri, Advisor to the OIC Secretary General on Muslim Minority Affairs, heads today, Saturday, 15th August 2009, for the Chinese capital Beijing.

The delegation will prepare for a visit to be expectedly undertaken by the OIC Secretary General, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, to Beijing at the invitation of the government of People's Republic of China. The delegation's visit seeks to observe the conditions of Muslims in the predominantly Muslim Uyghur autonomous province of Xinjiang, also known as Eastern Turkestan, in China. Muslims in the region constitute a minority in China. The delegation will also examine the root causes that gave rise to the recent outbreak of violence and the means to tackle the key causes behind the crisis in order to enhance the historical good relations linking China and the Muslim world.

The delegation, comprised of officials from the OIC Department of Minorities, will expectedly discuss the conditions of the Muslim Uyghur minority with Chinese officials in Beijing. Additionally, the delegation will conduct a visit to Xinjiang province to observe first-hand the conditions of Muslims there, just as it will undertake a number of field visits to observe the conditions of Muslims across China.

It is worth recalling that the OIC Secretary General conducted urgent contacts with the Chinese government in the aftermath of the events that occurred on 5th July 2009 in the Muslim Uyghur autonomous province. During these contacts, the Chinese government extended an invitation to the Secretary General to visit China and peruse first-hand the situation on the ground.

In the same vein, the 36th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Damascus in May 25, 2009, had asked the Secretary General to carry through his contacts with the Chinese government in a bid to ensure the legitimate rights of the Muslim Uyghurs in the province of Xinjiang.
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