Putin and Saudi Crown Prince will discuss Russia's possible accession to the OIC

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia will discuss the idea of Russia's admission to the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Moscow on Tuesday, RIA Novosti learned from a source in the presidential administration.

According to the source, the official visit of the crown prince to Russia "will give a powerful impetus to the development of Russia's relations with international Moslem organisations, including the highly respected OIC." The Russian president voiced the initiative during the August meeting in Kuala Lumpur with Abdullah Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia. That country will take the OIC chair in October this year. Putin stressed that there were approximately 20 million Moslems in Russia, which is why "Russia should be represented in the OIC, initially at least as an observer." The source said that the humanitarian aspect of Moscow-Riyadh relations was of great significance, as the Saudi leadership assists in the annual hadj of Russian Moslems to the holy places of Islam, Mecca and Medina.

In addition, Putin and Prince Abdallah will exchange opinions on the post-war restructuring of Iraq with reliance on more effective use of UN mechanisms (in particular on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1500) with due consideration for the concern of Moscow and al-Riyadh for a quick stabilisation, the formation of the transition power structures and eventually a legitimate government in Iraq.

The two dignitaries will also discuss international terrorism, from which many countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, have suffered, and the development of collaboration in the struggle against this evil and all forms of extremism.

President Putin and Prince Abdallah will spotlight the current situation in the Palestinian territories, in particular with due regard for the implementation of the roadmap plan and for carrying on the efforts of the international quartet of mediators (Russia, the USA, the EU and the UN) and other concerned parties to resume negotiations on the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese aspects of the Middle East settlement.

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