Riyadh – Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) announced the resignation of its Secretary General Iyad Madani “for health reasons”. The announcement came in a brief statement issued late Monday.
The Organization, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia said in the statement that Madani who held office in 2014, “resigned for health reasons,” and added that he took this opportunity to express his full appreciation and respect to all the OIC member-states.
Head of Media Center of OIC Maha Akil said that Saudi Arabia had nominated Yusuf al-Othaimeen, a former minister of social affairs, as Madani’s replacement.
The current OIC will be held in Saudi Arabia and thus nominating Othaimeen for the position of Sec-Gen is just a formality and all member states will agree, an OIC source told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
The source added that the country hosting this session can nominate a Sec-Gen if it wants to.
Madani held office in January 2014 and was assigned for five years, thus any candidate will have to finish that duration.
Madani’s resignation comes after he made a joke about the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during the conference of Ministers of Education in Tunisia. Madani was highly criticized especially by Egyptian media.
Madani issued a statement apologizing for the incident saying it was merely a joke and didn’t mean to offend Egypt’s leadership in any way.
“Didn’t intend to offend in any way the Egyptian leadership represented by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi,” Madani said.
He added that he respects and appreciates President Sisi, whom he met before, who leads a country close to the heart of every Arab and Muslim.
Egypt has announced support for the nomination of Dr. Yusuf Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen as the new secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shokri had condemned the remarks of the secretary general of OIC which he considered were mocking Sisi.
“Such statements are not consistent with the duties of the Secretary-General of the organization and the responsibilities of office have a significant influence on his work and ability to fulfill its mandate,”Shokri added.
The Foreign ministry issued a statement, which was released after the OIC’s statement, saying “Egypt is aware of the secretary-general’s apology, and we will follow up with the organization and identify the needed action that should be taken to correct this issue.”