Remarks by 

His Excellency Ahmed Khaleel, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs  

during the Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OIC Member States 

21 September 2023 


Mr. Chairman, Mr. Secretary-General, Distinguished Ministers, 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu, 

Our Ummah continues to be a target of serious threats. Muslims around the world continue to be targets of hatred and discrimination. This cannot be a constant. It must not continue, and it must not go on. We must find strength in unity to address these growing challenges.  


We join you, once again, to strongly condemn the repeated burnings and desecrations of the Holy Quran in Sweden and Denmark. Promoting hatred cannot be considered compatible with freedom of speech. These acts of provocation are deeply offensive, and a manifestation of Islamophobia. It incites violence and intolerance, which has now been amplified with new communication technologies. 

It is, therefore, our collective responsibility to take steps to bring due attention to this important issue and spread the noble and peaceful values of Islam. Together, we successfully brought this issue to the Human Rights Council. Together, let us welcome the recent G20 Declaration which deplored all acts of religious hatred, including against religious symbols and holy books. And together, let us express our collective concern through the Joint Statement that is adopted in this meeting today. 


Protecting our natural environment is part of our faith. Facing the adverse effects of climate change is a lived reality for a Small Island Developing States like mine, as is for all other states. Strong climate action requires joint efforts at all levels. It requires empowering and bringing the vulnerable, including women and youth, to the forefront to face the challenges heads on.  

The Islamic world can and should take a leading role in tackling climate change and protecting the environment. In this regard, let me congratulate the Arab Republic of Egypt for their commendable role as COP27 President. We also look forward to COP28 in the United Arab Emirates later this year. I hope that all members of our organization will work towards making COP28 a resounding success. 


We are deeply concerned by the repeated violation of the sanctity of the holy grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, including the repeated storming of the compound of the Holy Mosque. It disturbs the peace and stability within the region as a whole. 

The people of Maldives will always stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine in their inalienable right to self-determination. Long-lasting peace in the Middle East can only be achieved from a two-state solution, with the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.  

We also stand in solidarity with Muslims suffering across the world, including, currently, in Libya and Morocco, in the aftermath of natural disasters. We pray that Allah (SWA) ease their suffering, and that the dead are honoured with Jannat-ul-Firdous.  


We look forward to advancing our efforts in tackling shared challenges of our Ummah in the upcoming 15th Islamic Summit in The Gambia later this year. We pledge our full support to them. 

Together, we must channel our strengths and realize our shared goals to build a better world for all. 

I thank you.