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OIC High level delegation visits Beijing
 


Date: 19/08/2009
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The 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 visit.

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.
 
 
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