(MENAFN - Caribbean News Now) By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
ABU DHABI, UAE — Guyana and Suriname attended the 46th Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) under the title '50 years of Islamic cooperation: Road map for prosperity and development', which started on Friday and ended on Sunday.
Heading the Guyana delegation was Troy Torrington, director of multilateral and global affairs at the foreign ministry. The delegation also includes Shiraz Mohamed, Guyana's unofficial ambassador to the OIC, and Dr Shamir Ally, ambassador of Guyana to Kuwait.
The foreign minister of Suriname, Yldiz Pollack-Beighle is representing her country at the highest level.
The UAE is now Suriname's top trading partner and trade between Guyana and the UAE has significantly increased also. Guyana is looking to open a diplomatic mission in the UAE
Meanwhile, on Friday, Sheikh Abdullah and Pollack-Beighle signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding the political consultations between the two countries and another MoU on cooperation between the Emirates Diplomatic Academy and Suriname Diplomatic Institute (SDI).
On the sidelines of the Council of Ministers of the OIC meeting, Pollack-Beighle met with the foreign minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, in an effort to expand ties. Mammadyarov has accepted an invitation to visit Suriname as chair of the Non-Aligned Nations.
The meeting was opened on Friday by Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, and in the presence of Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, the OIC secretary general,
One objective of the meeting was to 'chart a roadmap for prosperity and development' for OIC members.
The conference agenda had the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict as a top priority. The foreign ministers discussed the developments in Palestine, the city of Jerusalem and the status of the peace process in the Middle East.
The conference also addressed the issues of combating terrorism, Islamophobia, and defamation of religions, status of Muslim groups and communities in non-OIC countries, OIC-2025, activities of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), humanitarian, information, social and cultural activities, and inter-civilization, intercultural, and inter-faith dialogue, according to an OIC statement.
Foreign ministers held a brainstorming session on the OIC role in promoting development among its member states with a focus on the strengths and opportunities of the OIC states, their economic forecasts, and OIC measures to promote development among its members.
For the first time since its creation, an Indian foreign minister addressed the OIC foreign ministers meeting. Pakistan was unable to convince Abu Dhabi and Riyadh to rescind Sushma Swaraj's invitation.