DAKAR, Senegal, March 14 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Senegal Thursday that the U.N. and the Organization of the Islamic Conference must work together to combat terrorism.
Ban attended the OIC's summit in Dakar, Senegal, where he called for greater cooperation between the OIC and the United Nations to reject linkages between terrorism and Islam and to step up efforts to end the violent conflicts in the Middle East, Darfur and Somalia among other regions in the world, the United Nations reported.
"You have spoken up against those who seek to justify violence in the name of religion," Ban said in a statement. "Your efforts reinforce the U.N.'s own steps to promote tolerance and understanding through the alliance of civilizations initiative, and I look forward to increasing U.N.-OIC collaboration in this area."
Ban called for sustained cooperation to combat terrorism and extreme poverty among other pressing issues and warned that the situation in the Middle East remains precarious, especially in the Gaza Strip where critics say a humanitarian crisis is escalating.
The OIC represents one-fifth of the world's population. While at the conference Ban met with "Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and with national leaders, including the presidents of Afghanistan and Indonesia," the release said.