Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a Kuala Lumpur summit aimed at addressing some of the Islamic world's thorniest issues. Hundreds of delegates are attending the gathering in Malaysia — including heads of state and religious leaders — but the meeting has been snubbed by Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest shrines.

Saudi Arabia is one of a handful of Muslim nations not in attendance at a four-day conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The conference, dubbed the Kuala Lumpur Summit, was organized by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. It is expected to discuss such issues as the plight of the Muslim Uighurs in China's remote Xinjiang province, where millions are being held in what critics are calling internment camps.

The Saudi kingdom says it is boycotting the summit because it is being held outside the banner of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation based in Jeddah. The OIC issued a statement Wednesday saying such meetings not only weaken the bloc, it also weakens Islam.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled to attend the forum, but reportedly pulled out under pressure from Riyadh. (VOA/AFP)

LINK: https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/islamic-summit-opens-kuala-lumpur

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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