Pan-Muslim group condemns jihadist groups, ISIS

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (centre) chairs the opening of the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Corporation (OIC) with the theme "Joint Vision to Strengthen Tolerance and
Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah (centre) chairs the opening of the 42nd Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Corporation (OIC) with the theme "Joint Vision to Strengthen Tolerance and Reject Terrorism", at Bayan palace in Kuwait City on May 27, 2015. -- PHOTO: AFP

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - A conference of Muslim states on Thursday condemned main jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq and studied a plan for developing an effective strategy against "terrorism and extremism".

"We condemn the gruesome atrocities committed by all terrorist organisations including Daesh (Arabic for the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq group), Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra Front (its affiliate in Syria)," said the final communique of a two-day conference by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The Sunni groups named are involved in armed conflicts in several Arab countries including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

No Shiite groups, such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, were mentioned in the communique.

"The escalation of violence and terrorist crimes threatens regional and international security," the statement said.

The conference was attended by more than 50 Muslim countries at foreign ministers level, including heavyweights Turkey, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

It called for "joining regional and international efforts to fight terrorism and extremist thought".

Delegates discussed strategy and stressed the need "for drying up the sources of funding of terrorism".

OIC secretary general Iyad Madani, a Saudi, admitted without elaborating that there were "differences between member states" on strategy despite "general agreement".

Madani told reporters the meeting also focused on tackling "sectarian fighting, which is the biggest danger to Muslim countries".

Bloody Sunni-Shiite fighting is raging in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia was itself the scene of a suicide bombing last week by Sunni extremists targeting a Shiite mosque and killing 21 people.

The OIC also declared support for Yemen's UN-backed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and welcomed a Saudi-led operation against Iran-backed rebels there that has been strongly condemned by Tehran.

The conference urged rival factions in Libya to resolve their dispute peacefully, and backed Iraq's government in its fight against IS.