Strengthening mutuality: Australia appoints Special Envoy to OIC

Strengthening mutuality: Australia appoints Special Envoy to OIC

Hameed Shaheen

ISLAMABAD: Australia, a member of the 54-state British Commonwealth, has appointed her first Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with a view to promoting coordination with this 57-state Muslim international forum.

Mr Ahmed Fahour, the newly appointed Special Envoy of Australia to the OIC, on Monday paid a courtesy visit to the OIC General Secretariat, Jeddah, sources said.

In the OIC headquarters the Australian Special Envoy held maiden friendly talks with Amb. Atta El Manane Bakhit, Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Amb. Hameed A Opeloyeru, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs and Amb. Vefahan Ocak, Director General of the Cabinet of the Secretary General.

Mr Fahour was accompanied by Mr. Neil Hawkins, the Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Both sides had had usefully extensive exchange of views on various issues of common interests. Particularly, they examined the possible means and ways of intensified bilateral cooperation, including through establishment of a cooperative framework between the OIC and Australia, sources added.

Reciprocating, the OIC officials assured Mr Ahmed Fahour the OIC’s readiness to fully cooperate during his assignment as Special Australian Envoy.

Be it recalled that the US too had a special envoy to the OIC who regularly attends the OIC Foreign Ministers annual coordination meetings in or outside of the New York UN headquarters. OIC has recently established a good working rapprochement with the 27-state industrially powerful European Union in Brussels. OIC enjoys observer status with the UNO.

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