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Iran Ready for Sci-Tech Coop. With Muslim States

Engaging in closer scientific collaboration will help Muslim governments offer greater hope to their youth, which in turn eliminates the roots of extremism and terrorism
Heads of state and government from OIC member states pose for a family photo during the First OIC Summit on Science and Technology in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Sept. 10.Heads of state and government from OIC member states pose for a family photo during the First OIC Summit on Science and Technology in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Sept. 10.

The Iranian president has called on Muslim governments to join hands to boost their scientific growth and form a tech-based economy, saying Iran is willing to lend them a helping hand on this path and extend scientific cooperation to Muslim nations.

President Hassan Rouhani made the statement on Sunday in the first-ever summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on science and technology held in Kazakhstan's capital Astana, his official website reported.  

Rouhani said his government's policy is to shift the economy from one based on natural resources to an economy based on productivity and innovation, despite the fact that the country possesses huge oil and gas resources.

The president said Iran's active support for thousands of knowledge-based firms has led to significant scientific achievements and greatly boosted its non-oil exports, which experience can be helpful for Muslim nations.  

Rouhani said paying greater attention to science and engaging in closer scientific collaboration will greatly help Muslim governments develop their countries and offer hope to their youth, which in turn eliminates the roots of extremism and terrorism.  

"Let's put aside divisions sowed by enemies of Islam and warmongering powers that see their interests in disintegration and let's open new grounds of scientific and technological cooperation to modernize our countries," he said.  

The two-day summit was held on the theme of "Science, Technology, Innovations and Modernization in the Islamic World", with the participation of 56 OIC members and international organizations.

The gathering is expected to adopt OIC's 10-year action plan on science and technology.

  Aid for Rohingya

During his stay in Astana, the president met Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, among other top officials.

In the meeting with Erdogan ahead of the summit on Saturday, the two leaders stressed the importance of delivering aid to the oppressed Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Myanmar's security forces have been attacking Muslims and torching their villages since October 2016 to push them out of the western state of Rakhine.    

Rouhani said Iran will send humanitarian aid to those affected in the crackdown and called for an end to violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

Erdogan also stressed that the government in Myanmar must be pressured into halting its atrocities.

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