Saudi King Calls Islamic Summit

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has called for an emergency Islamic summit in Mecca on August 14-15 to address major issues facing the Islamic world, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Sunday.

The King has called for "an extraordinary Islamic solidarity meeting to ensure... unity during this delicate time as the Muslim world faces dangers of fragmentation and sedition," the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Faisal as saying.

The Saudi monarch also also ordered a major fund-raising program for Syrians to alleviate their sufferings. The program which began on Monday covers all regions of the Kingdom.

The announcement comes amid heightened violence across Syria, where Opposition activists say more than 17,000 people have been killed since a popular uprising erupted in March 2011 against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni-ruled countries in the Gulf region have repeatedly voiced support for Syrian rebels fighting the Assad government.

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, who had suppressed a Shia-led revolt in his tiny kingdom with Saudi support recently, said he would attend the conference. OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu met with Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi in Cairo on Saturday and discussed the main issues to be taken at the Mecca Summit, Arab media reports said.

Ihsanoglu congratulated Mursi on his electoral victory and highlighted Egypt's role as one of the largest Muslim countries. He also discussed the Syrian crisis and the situation of Muslims in Myanmar with the Egyptian President.

The Mecca Summit is the fourth emergency conference to be convened by OIC since it was formed in 1969. The third extraordinary OIC Summit was also held in Mecca in December, 2000 on King Abdullah's initiative.
It adopted a ten-year action plan to strengthen the 57-member organization, the second largest after the U.N.

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