Heads of state from across the Islamic world meet in Cairo Wednesday to tackle crises ranging from Syria’s civil war to the battle against Islamist militants in Mali, with their sharp differences expected to be laid bare.
The meeting will gather leaders of 26 of the OIC’s 57 states, with Egypt’s first Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, assuming the organisation’s rotating presidency.
The gathering will call for “serious dialogue” between the Syrian opposition and government officials “not directly involved in oppression” according to a draft resolution obtained by AFP.
The call for dialogue, drafted by foreign ministers after two days of preparatory meetings, will pile pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to respond to a surprise offer of talks by Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, leader of the opposition National Coalition.
A Tunisian opposition leader critical of the Islamist-led government and violence by radical Muslims was shot to death Wednesday, according to the government.
The killing is likely to heighten tensions in a country whose path from dictatorship to democracy has been seen as a model for the Arab world.