the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken’s Meeting with Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary-General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken met yesterday with Secretary-General Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss the ongoing U.S.-OIC partnership and to explore areas for expanding cooperation.  Their conversation focused on the deeply concerning situation in Syria, including the ongoing fighting in Qusayr, the impact of the conflict on the broader region, and the urgent need for a political solution.  They also discussed Middle East peace, Burma, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Deputy NSA Blinken and Secretary-General Ihsanoglu agreed to continue expanding cooperation between the OIC and the United States on humanitarian crises, institutionalize collaboration in the United Nations, and promote religious tolerance and freedom of expression worldwide, including through the Istanbul Process.  The Deputy NSA thanked Secretary-General Ihsanoglu for his leadership at the OIC, and pledged to continue to build on our already close cooperation when the Secretary-General’s successor takes office in 2014.