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Iran Left Out of OIC Meeting Due to Belated Saudi Visa

Iran practically missed the chance to take part in an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah after Saudi Arabia procrastinated in granting the Iranian delegation visas, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.

In a post on his Twitter account on Monday, Mousavi denounced the Saudi government for its belated action to give the Iranian delegation visas for the meeting of the OIC on Palestine.

“Following the Saudi government’s obstructionism in the Iranian delegation’s participation in the extraordinary meeting of the OIC in Jeddah and Iran’s consequent reaction, they (Saudis) sent a message around midnight last night that the Iranian delegation could be given visas, but it was practically impossible for the Iranian delegation to attend this morning’s meeting in Jeddah,” the spokesman explained.

In a statement on Sunday evening, Mousavi had lashed out at the Riyadh government for dragging its feet over granting the Iranian delegation visa.

“Following the US president’s unveiling of the Zionist plan known as ‘deal of the century’, it was decided – at the suggestion of the Palestinian National Authority and at the invitation of secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – that an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee of the OIC would be held at the level of foreign ministers of the Member States on Monday, February 3, 2020, at the headquarters of the OIC secretariat in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah in order to examine that plan and adopt stances on it.

“Although the secretary-general of the OIC had invited the Islamic Republic of Iran as an active member of the Organization to take part in the Jeddah meeting, the Saudi government – which hosts the Organization’s secretariat in Jeddah – violated the definite commitments as the government hosting this international Organization as well as the plain principles stipulated in the modus operandi of such organizations, such as the necessity of ensuring the free and unrestricted participation of the Member States in all activities of the Organization, and denied the Islamic Republic of Iran’s delegation led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari visa until the final hours before the meeting,” Mousavi added.

“The trend in excluding the delegations representing certain Member States, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, from the OIC’s meetings and conferences held in Jeddah at the OIC secretariat has been intensified by Saudi Arabia over the past months,” the Foreign Ministry’s website quoted him as saying.

“Such an approach adopted by the Saudi government has been deplored by a number of the Member States, which have accused that country (Saudi Arabia) of abusing the privilege of hosting this international Organization and of improper exploitation of the OIC to fulfill its own political interests and objectives,” the Iranian spokesman added.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs submits a formal note of protest to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s secretariat, the contents of which will be also distributed among the Organization’s Member States, highlights Saudi Arabia’s abuse of hosting the Organization’s headquarters in order to obstruct the process of its activities, including by restricting the free participation of the Member States in the Organization’s meetings in Jeddah, particularly on a major subject like Palestine, and declares that the competence of this regime (Saudi Arabia) to continue playing host to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s headquarters has been seriously questioned,” he concluded.

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