Saudi Leader of Largest Islamic Bloc to Visit Jerusalem

Secretary general of Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation plans first official visit on January 5.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
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Kerry shakes hands with Organization of Islamic Cooperation head, Iyad bin Amin Madani, before a meeting New York, September 23, 2014.Credit: Reuters
The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The world's largest bloc of Islamic countries says its secretary general will make his first official visit to east Jerusalem on January 5 and visit one of Islam's holiest sites.

The Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation is comprised of 57 Muslim-majority nations.

Saudi-born Iyad Madani became secretary general in January last year.

The OIC said Thursday that Madani will visit the Al-Aqsa mosque compound after meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Tensions have flared surrounding the holy site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Madani told The Associated Press in May that he encourages Muslims from all over the world to go to Al-Aqsa and "confirm that this mosque is a part of their faith." 

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