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Monday, May 16, 2011       23:35 WIB
Brazil requests to join OIC as observer state

JEDDAH, May 16, 2011 (AFP)
Brazil has requested to join the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as an observer, the Saudi-based global Islamic group said on Monday.

OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu received an "official request from the foreign minister of Brazil indicating Brazil's interest in getting observer status," the group said.

The request was presented by Brazil's ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Sergio Luiz Canaes, and the OIC said its secretary general had welcomed the desire expressed by Brazil.

Ihsanoglu told the Latin American envoy that the Islamic group will soon finalise the criteria for granting observer status and will inform the government of Brazil of the "necessary action" to obtain this.

So far, Guyane and Suriname are the only two South American nations to have joined the 57-member organisation.

The OIC, based in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah, includes Russia among its five observer states, while the Philippines and South Africa have filed similar requests.


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