WORLD

60 percent of conflicts are in Muslim countries, Erdoğan aide says

"Sixty percent of conflicts in the world today are happening in Muslim countries. This must be a hard lesson for all of us. The Muslim countries are becoming a playground for political proxy wars. "Why? Because we lack the unity we need," Ibrahim Kalın -- Turkish presidential spokesman -- said, speaking at a seminar held at the Strategic, Economic and Social Research Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) in Ankara.

The Turkish presidential spokesman said Friday that 60 percent of conflicts globally are occurring in Muslim nations.

"Sixty percent of conflicts in the world today are happening in Muslim countries. This must be a hard lesson for all of us," Ibrahim Kalın said, speaking at a seminar held at the Strategic, Economic and Social Research Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) in Ankara.

The center is part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Kalın said most of the Muslim countries are becoming a playground for political proxy wars. "Why? Because we lack the unity we need," he added.

Kalin said there are plans and schemes to divide Muslim countries, however, blaming others for Muslims' own problems is very easy to do.

"We really have to address our own issues," he added.

Kalin said there is a lot that can be done under the OIC umbrella. "Muslim countries need political leadership... they need unity more than ever," Kalın said.

He added that the Muslim world is not as poor as many people think.

Kalın said Muslims have "enormous" natural resources and the youngest population in the world. Compared to Europe and the U.S., the Muslim world is much younger, he said.

"So we have tremendous human resources that we have to tap into," Kalın said. "The problem is that we are not dealing with these resources in a smart way."

Kalın said the current global order is not giving justice or fair distribution of wealth.

He said the gap between the rich and the poor was narrower in the past than it is today and that raises the issue of justice.

"There is no peace without justice. There is no sustainable peace without justice and fairness. Whether you talk about the Palestinian issue or you talk about Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar or poverty in Africa," Kalın added.

Director General of SESRIC Ambassador Musa Kulaklıkaya, also speaking, hailed the plenteous principles of peace and tolerance the Islamic religion came with.

"Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, constantly taking the side of world peace and global justice," he said.

Kulaklıkaya went on to note that the OIC has so far proven itself as one of the most successful projects in the Islamic World, but, "this project has faced difficulties in responding to the increasing security challenges of the 21st century".

Regarding the main aim of the seminar, he said, they target to address these difficulties by reflecting on some recent SESRIC research studies focused "on achieving peace and security in OIC countries".

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