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Outgoing top Muslim envoy seeks accord with Christians

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor PARIS (Reuters) - The outgoing head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said on Tuesday some Muslim states should broaden rights for religious minorities. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who stepped down on Monday after nine years as secretary general of the 57-country group representing the Islamic world, also said Western countries should do more to combat an increase of prejudice against Muslims there.

Muslim bloc urges 'decisive action' against Damascus

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Wednesday condemned alleged poison gas attacks in Syria, blaming the government and calling for "decisive action" in response. The world's largest grouping of Muslim nations "stressed the need to hold the Syrian government legally and morally accountable for this heinous crime and to bring its perpetrators to justice". The OIC called on the UN "Security Council to discharge its duty of preserving international security and stability, taking a unified position against this monstrous crime and its perpetrators.

Iran calls on OIC to intervene in Egypt

The Iranian foreign minister on Friday urged the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to intervene in member state Egypt to contain a deadly crackdown on Islamists, state television reported. Mohammad Javad Zarif said a police crackdown on two protests camps set up by supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi that killed nearly 600 people was a "massacre", it said. Zarif made the remarks during a telephone call with OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, said a statement on the state broadcaster's website.

Islamic states hope for better ties with new pope: OIC

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 57 countries, expressed hope on Thursday for better relations between Muslim states and the Vatican under newly elected Pope Francis. OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in a letter of congratulations to the pope, said he hoped "the relationship between Islam and Christianity will regain its cordiality and sincere friendship" under the new head of the Roman Catholic Church.
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