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Islam Summit Calls for Syria Dialogue, Palestine Donors Meeting

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Leaders of Islamic nations agreed to back an initiative proposed by Egypt to end the crisis in Syria, stressing the need for a unified opposition and efforts that ensure the integrity of the nation in efforts to realize the “just” aspirations of Syrians.

The call was made by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr in the closing statement of the two-day Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Cairo, which grouped Muslim leaders often at loggerheads.

OIC members agreed to hold a donors’ conference for the Palestinians and to set up a financial “safety net” for them through members’ donations, Amr said.

“The Palestinian cause remains a main challenge facing the region on the path to achieving peace and stability,” Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi said in the closing session aired on state television today. The time and location for the donors’ conference is to be set within the coming few days, according to Egypt’s state-run Middle East News Agency.

Member states also called for strengthening economic and trade relations between them, Mursi said. “God’s will is with this nation to rise up,” he said. “Our strength is in our unity” he said.

Former Saudi Culture and Information Minister Ayad Madani was appointed as the new secretary-general of the OIC, replacing Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the current Turkish head, whose term expires next year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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