Remarks by His Excellency Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, Minister of Islamic Affairs at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

Ref: 2024/Statement/12

His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Chair of the Islamic Summit

His Excellency Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Mauritarians Abroad of the Republic of Mauritania, and Chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC,

His Excellency Riyad al-Maliki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine

Honourable Ministers, Secretary-General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu,

At the outset, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and State of Palestine for convening this important meeting.

Let me also commend the efforts of the Ministerial Committee assigned by the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit to advocate for the Palestinian cause.


Gaza still resounds with bombings, gunfire and cries for help. This helplessness did not grow out of the recent horrific attacks. It followed cycles of indiscriminate violence and bloodshed. Years and years of suffering. Decades of inaction.

Nothing justifies the ongoing Israeli aggression in Gaza and other Palestinian territories. Yet, they continue to wreak havoc on Palestinian lives, killing, wounding and displacing thousands.

We must not sit back and watch while Gaza lies in ruins. We must not continue to look the other way as they beg for necessities. And we must not ignore their yearning for peace.

We must address this humanitarian crisis now, and push for a cessation to the hostilities.


Let me join you, once again, in strongly condemning the unspeakable acts of genocide in Gaza and the threats by the Israeli Government to attack Rafah. No country is above the rule of law, but the scale at which Israeli forces are continuing to commit crimes has seen no change. They must be held accountable for these actions, which now amounts to apartheid. It is high time we take decisive actions to prevent Gaza genocide.

Allow me to take this opportunity to reiterate our demand for a permanent ceasefire and call for a stronger push to ensure adequate volumes of aid enters Gaza safely.

The Palestinian people deserve to spend the Holy Month of Ramadan in peace. With their families and loved ones. Without the fear of attacks and airstrikes.


The people of Palestine can always count on our support, and I assure you that our call to “Free Palestine” will continue to become louder, until the global community delivers on the Palestinian cause.

Last week, we joined fellow members to deliver oral submissions in support of Palestine on the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem at the International Court of Justice. We intend to file a declaration of intervention in the case filed by South Africa. We call on Israel to fully comply with the ICJ’s provisional measures.

We also firmly believe that Israel’s actions and policies in the occupied Palestinian territory amounts to apartheid.


We gather here at a moment of great challenge and opportunity for change.

What we are witnessing today in Gaza is beyond words. It endangers global peace and security, and most importantly, it threatens humanity. This is why the responsibility to end suffering in Gaza through words and actions falls upon all of us. We must draw strength from our solidarity to build a world where lasting peace is a reality. And the only means to achieve that is the establishment of an independent and sovereign State of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

We fully support the resolution that has been put forward and that will be adopted at the end of this meeting. We hope that this once again galvanise stronger international action in support of our brothers and sisters in Palestine.

I thank you.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fathulla Jameel Building, Malé, 20077, Republic of Maldives, | Tel Number: 00960 332-3400  |  Emergency Contact: 00960 798-3400