By Anees Teladia
The 14th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) kicked off with a packed agenda in Makkah this past weekend and faces stark criticism from various quarters for its inability to tackle the myriad of issues in Muslim countries. The summit is meant to be a platform to discuss issues facing the Muslim world, such as the Palestinian conflict and occupation, extremism, growing Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice and discrimination.
Former diplomat and international relations strategist, Zeenat Adam unpacked the summit on VOC’s Ramadan AM show, saying that essentially it was a disappointment in many regards.
“We would have hoped it [the summit] would have more relevance as the issues of the Muslim world become so much more prominent,” said Adam.
“I found that the OIC had scant information on what was going on in Jerusalem.”
“We’re dealing with such a weak organisation that really doesn’t come up with much any longer.”
Adam says that while the Palestinian conflict was on the agenda, the attention placed on it was suggestive that it was more of a side note. The priority of the OIC seemed to be discussing Iran.
“There was just a small condemnation, almost like ‘by the way’ about the USA moving its embassy to Jerusalem. There was [also] very little spoken about the ‘Deal of the Century’.”
The ‘Deal of the Century’ is intended to be an innovative and revolutionary blueprint for peace between Palestine and Israel, developed by the USA. The so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ is yet to be formally released.
“The summit really was more focused on the issue of Iran and this seems to be orchestrated by the Gulf states and hosted by Mohammad Bin Salman,” said Adam.
“We had a communiqué condemning Iran and fully supportive of the American stance in the region…in the last few weeks there has been such a build-up, with the thought that this could lead to a very serious war.”
It has been suggested by Adam that the OIC would to a large extent be in favour of that war, i.e. a war on Iran with the USA involved. However, she also indicated that there is likely strong debate in the White House on how to approach the Iranian issue and that a war against Iran would result in a global economic crisis caused by the increased oil price.
“We saw the USA saying they’d consider talking to Iran, but until yesterday there were war drums and the communiqués that came out of Makkah [from the OIC summit] were in support of that war,” said Adam.
“Yesterday the US State Department came forward talking about diplomacy instead.”
“From the beginning of Trump being in office, there’s been a split in terms of how the USA approaches issues in the Middle East. Up until last week, you had Bolton [Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton] pushing for this war. He was the architect of the war in Iraq…”
“I think there’s a strong debate within the White House as to what their approach should be…there should be reluctance toward going to war. If a war takes place in the region, it means the oil prices go up…I don’t think the world economy could survive the magnitude of the rise.”
Adam emphasised that the world needs to be watchful of this situation and the role-players.
“All of this is really problematic…it’s something we really need to be watchful of.”
“There still are those warmongers trying to beat their war drums.”