Azerbaijan will take part in the meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi, spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said at a press conference Feb. 25, 2019. She noted that Azerbaijan will be represented by Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at the meeting to be held on March 1-2.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with a collective population of over 1.8 billion as of 2015 with 40 countries being Muslim Majority countries. The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony”.
In 1991, Azerbaijan joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and started to build relations with the organization. As a result, the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Saudi Arabia was given a mandate of permanent representative of Azerbaijan to the General Secretariat of the OIC in May 1994.
Azerbaijan has achieved cooperation with other bodies of the OIC. In this regard, Mehriban Aliyeva’s activities must be noted which contributed to the development of ties between Azerbaijan and the OIC. On 26 November 2006, Abdulaziz Othman al-Twaijri, Director General of ISESCO made Aliyeva a goodwill ambassador of ISESCO for her efforts to bring civilizations closer to each other. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoghlu made her a special envoy of the OIC on humanitarian affairs for her activities in the humanitarian field while attending the International Forum on “Expanding the Role of Women in Cross-Cultural Dialogue” which was held in Baku on 10–11 June 2008.
On 3 May 2017, a delegation led by Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef Al-Othaimeen met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. The meeting involved the discussions over the solidarity and cooperation between Muslim countries, Azerbaijan’s membership to the OIC and tourism potentials.