ASTANA, Kazakhstan: The Jeddah-based Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Tuesday changed its name to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and unveiled a new emblem at the start of its Council of Foreign Ministers annual meeting in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
The Muslim world’s largest grouping said in a statement that the name change was approved by its 57 members at a conference in Astana, Kazakhstan, of its foreign ministers.
The change comes almost 42 years after the founding of the inter-governmental organization in reaction to the August 1969 arson attack on Occupied Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has served as its secretary general since January 2005. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov introduced the resolution to make the change and said it will become a symbol of modernization, unanimity and competitiveness of the Islamic world.
“We should strengthen our cooperation, both internal and external, in all fields,” Kazykhanov said. “Our internal cooperation means consolidating Islamic integrity and solidarity while external cooperation would aim to solidify the Ummah’s position in the world.”