OIC Press Release
|18 December 1999|
At the invitation of the European Union, an official first dialogue between the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, took place at Helsinki, capital of Finland which is currently chairing the European Union. The meeting was dedicated to the examination of a number of political and regional issues, with at the forefront, the issue of Palestine and Al-Quds Al-Sharif and the Middle-East Peace Process, in addition to the crisis in Chechnya and Afghanistan, the future of the Balkans, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, and the participation in the United Nations’ peace keeping activities.
The two parties exchanged viewpoints on the above-mentioned issues and reviewed the efforts they have both contributed towards the establishment of peace in various parts of the world, on the basis of a World Order founded on balance and justice. The exchange of views represented an opportune occasion for rapprochement between the two organizations and for the initiation of mutual coordination on matters of common concern.
In the meeting too, the OIC offered the European Union information on the initiatives adopted by it on the issue of inter-civilizational dialogue, along with an invitation to join it in its efforts within the framework of preparations for the world declaration on inter-civilizational dialogue and its implementation programme, in coordination with the United Nations and, other concerned organizations.
The meeting’s attendance comprised, on the European side, the current Chairmanship of the Union, represented by Finland, and a representative for Portugal, the next Chairman, in addition to the European Commission and the European Council’s General Secretariat. As for the Organization of the Islamic Conference, its delegation included officials representing the Islamic Republic of Iran, (current OIC Chairman), Burkina Faso, (Chairman of the 26th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers), and the OIC General Secretariat.