Crisis should not hinder OIC plan of action
By Sonia K.

His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on Saturday morning attended the opening ceremony and the General Debate of the 36th Meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers at Omayyad Conferences Palace, Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic.

The conference was opened by Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa, Chairman of the 35th Session, following which President Bashar al-Assad of Syria delivered a keynote address. Later, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualin of Syria was elected Chairman of the OIC FM for the coming year.

His Royal Highness during the General Debate delivered a statement, in which he emphasised the importance of ensuring that the current world financial crisis did not slow down the work of implementing the OIC Ten-Year Plan of Action.

The Prince also praised OIC for working well with other international groups and agencies.

"It is doing a very good job promoting Islamic causes, views and concerns," he said and added that the organisation is also helping to build up international understanding among faith and, at the same time trade between the members is increasing and there is progress in the efforts to reach the targets for the millennium development goals.

His Royal Highness also held a bilateral meeting with UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Mohammed Gargash. His Royal Highness later attended a dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualim in honour of all the visiting ministers and delegations.

The same day Their Royal Highnesses Prince Mohamed Bolkiah and Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Zariah left Damascus. - Borneo Bulletin (25th May 2009)