Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), will visit Finland on 5–6 March at the invitation of Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja. In addition, he will meet President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Eero Heinäluoma.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is an organization consisting of 57 states, headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has been acting as the organization’s Secretary General since 2005.
Finnish communication with the OIC has been increasing in recent years, and the contact with Secretary General Ihsanoglu has been close in various contexts both at the political and civil servant level. Ihsanoglu visited Finland for the first time in 2008.
The OIC aims to engage in closer dialogue and cooperation with other international and regional organisations than before. The OIC has opened an office in Brussels to enhance its contacts with the EU and NATO. In its last Summit in Cairo on 7 February, the OIC heads of state and government took a stand on most crises concerning the Islamic world and expressed their willingness to enhance cooperation on issues of interest to the Islamic world in international organisations, for example.
Additional information about the visit: Krista Napola, Diplomatic Adviser to Minister Tuomioja, tel. +358 40 590 7973; and Risto Veltheim, Ambassador, Department for Africa and the Middle East tel. +358 40 748 2697