High level delegation visits Beijing
high level delegation representing the Organization of
the Islamic Conference (OIC) headed by Ambassador Sayed
Kassem El-Masry currently visiting China concluded a two
day visit to Beijing and left today for Urumqi, the
capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.
The delegation will also proceed to Yinchuan, the
capital city of Ningxia autonomous region for a one-day
During their stay in Beijing, the delegation met with
the Director General of the Department of West Asia and
North Africa in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the
Deputy Director General of the State Commission for
Ethnic Affairs and the Deputy Director General for the
State Commission for Religious Affairs.
During the meeting, the Chinese foreign ministry
officials explained their position regarding minorities,
including the Uyghur ethnicities in particular. They
emphasized the importance China attaches to the Islamic
world and their wish to develop relations with the
Islamic world further. They also emphasized that they
value the role of the OIC in enhancing the moderate
values of Islam.
Under this framework, they expressed their wish to
continue developing further their ties with the OIC
through dialogue and interaction. The OIC side welcomed
the Chinese wish to strengthen relations with the OIC.
They added that the main reason for their visit is to
acquaint themselves with the real facts on the ground on
the violent events of July 5, 2009 and on the state of
affairs with regard to the Chinese Muslims in general
and Uyghur Muslims in particular.
The delegation stated that the objective of the visit is
also to prepare for the anticipated visit of the OIC
Secretary General, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu to
China in the near future. The Chinese side welcomed
wholeheartedly the proposed visit of the Secretary
General and assured that they would accord the
delegation all required assistance and provide all
facilitation to ensure the success of their mission.
At their meeting with the Deputy Director General of the
State Commission for Ethnic Affairs, the OIC delegation
sought and obtained information on the scope of
authority of the Uyghur autonomous government, their
policy of education and their control over internal
affairs and resources.
During their meeting with the Deputy Director General of
the State Commission for Religious Affairs, the OIC
delegation discussed the issue of religious freedom in
general and in the Uyghur region in particular and as to
whether there are any limitations on the exercise of
such rights in the Uyghur region. They also wanted to
know about the integration process of Muslim minorities
in the mainstream societies and affects of such
integration process on the minorities while underlining
that integration does not mean assimilation.
The delegation also met the President of the Chinese
Islamic Association during their stay in Beijing.