Page last updated at 15:51 GMT, Sunday, 26 December 2010

Timeline: Organisation of the Islamic Conference

A chronology of key events:

1969 - Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) founded at first summit of Islamic leaders representing 24 states, held in Rabat, Morocco.

Sadat and Israeli premier Menachem Begin make peace brokered by U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1979
Egyptian President Sadat (left) incurs Arab wrath by making peace with Israel

1972 - OIC Charter adopted at foreign ministers meeting.

1974 - Islamic Solidarity Fund, as well as the nucleus of what was to become the Islamic Commission for Economic, Cultural and Social Affairs, set up at OIC summit in Lahore, Pakistan.

1979 - Egypt suspended from OIC after signing peace agreement with Israel.

1981 - OIC summit calls for broad struggle "for the liberation of Jerusalem and the occupied territories", including an economic boycott of Israel; general agreement for economic, technical and commercial cooperation comes into force.

1982 - OIC foreign ministers resolve to create Islamic offices for boycotting Israel and for military cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

1984 - Egypt readmitted.

1987 - OIC summit resolves that Islamic Peace Committee should make efforts to prevent the sale of military hardware to Iraq and Iran; requests holding of UN summit to define international terrorism and to differentiate it from legitimate struggle for freedom.

Iranian soldier
OIC tried to curb weapons supplies which fuelled Iraq-Iran conflict

1990 - OIC condemns Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and demands the withdrawal of Iraqi troops.

1991 - OIC calls on UN Security Council to take all necessary steps against Serbia and Montenegro, including military intervention, in order to protect Bosnian Muslims.

1993 - OIC calls on UN Security Council to remove arms embargo against Bosnian Muslims in order to allow them to defend themselves against Bosnian Serbs; OIC members pledge 80 million dollars in emergency assistance for Muslims affected by the war in Bosnia; seven OIC states commit themselves to providing up to 17,000 troops to the UN peacekeeping force in Bosnia (UNPROFOR).

1994 - OIC summit proclaims UN arms embargo on Bosnia-Hercegovina null and void as far as the Muslim authorities there were concerned.

Bosnian refugees
OIC argued against arms embargo so Bosnians could defend themselves

1995 - OIC foreign and defence ministers endorse the creation of an "assistance mobilisation group" to supply military, economic and other assistance to Bosnia-Hercegovina.

1999 - OIC decides to send humanitarian aid to Kosovar Albanian refugees; OIC Parliamentary Union inaugurated.

2000 - OIC summit pledges solidarity with Palestinian people and accuses Israel of large-scale systematic violations of Palestinian human rights.

9/11 attacks

2001 September - OIC condemns the September 11 terrorist attacks against the US, describing them as "barbaric and criminal".

2001 October - OIC emergency session held in Qatar to discuss September 11 attacks and US strikes against Taleban in Afghanistan. Delegates urge Washington not to target other countries in its campaign against terrorism.

2002 February - OIC rejects US President George W Bush's assertion that member countries Iran and Iraq are part of an "axis of evil".

2003 March - OIC emergency summit is held in Doha, Qatar, to discuss the Iraqi crisis and the threat of a US-led military campaign against Baghdad. The summit calls for diplomacy to be given more time.

2004 April - Emergency summit held in Malaysia to consider the Middle East situation, including ongoing troubles in Iraq.

2004 June - Delegates at Istanbul meeting choose Turkish former diplomat Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as secretary-general. He takes office in December.

2006 August - OIC special session demands a halt to fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah militia in Lebanon and calls for a UN force to be deployed.

Engagement with West

2008 March - OIC summit in Dakar, Senegal, calls for engagement with West in order to stem a perceived rise in "Islamophobia". USA sends first representative to summit, Pakistan-born Sada Cumber.

2009 June - US President Barack Obama calls for "new beginning" in relations between the United States and the Muslim world. In a keynote speech delivered in Cairo, he calls for the "cycle of suspicion and discord" to end.

2010 February - President Obama names Rashad Hussain as his special envoy to the OIC.

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