An extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) kicked off in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on Wednesday to address a wide range of issues Islamic countries face, according to reports reaching here.
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz inaugurated the 3rd OIC extraordinary summit, which will last till Thursday.
The king called for Islamic unity in order to better tackle the political and economic challenges that Islamic countries are facing.
He also urged Islamic countries to carry out reforms especially in the education domain in order to build a "tolerant Muslim identity" and fight against extremism.
King Abdullah also called upon the OIC to fulfill its role in uniting Islamic countries and combating extremism.
The two-day summit, gathering leaders and representatives from 57 member states, is expected to discuss and approve three key documents, according to a summit spokesman.
The documents include the Mecca Declaration which details the current situation of Islamic countries and challenges they face, a working program which outlines a roadmap for joint Islamic action over the next 10 years and a guideline on the OIC's work.
In addition, the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the combat against terrorism, reforms and the rights of women will also be discussed during the meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.
The OIC was founded in 1969 with the aim of promoting Muslim solidarity in economic, social and political affairs.
The name of the group with its headquarters in Saudi Arabia is expected to be changed into the Organization of Islamic Countries at the Mecca summit.