Europe

Islamic summit focuses on overcoming terrorism, sectarianism

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan  waves as he leaves Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque after Friday prayers during the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Istanbul, Friday, April 15, 2016. Muslim nations have agreed to establish a joint body based in Istanbul to fight terrorism.(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves as he leaves Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque after Friday prayers during the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Istanbul, Friday, April 15, 2016. Muslim nations have agreed to establish a joint body based in Istanbul to fight terrorism.(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, addresses the leaders and representatives of the Islamic countries during the second day of the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Istanbul, Friday, April 15, 2016.  Muslim nations have agreed to establish a joint body based in Istanbul to fight terrorism. The OIC Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani, left, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu applaud.(Anadolu Agency, Pool via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, addresses the leaders and representatives of the Islamic countries during the second day of the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Istanbul, Friday, April 15, 2016. Muslim nations have agreed to establish a joint body based in Istanbul to fight terrorism. The OIC Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani, left, and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu applaud.(Anadolu Agency, Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rear center, addresses the leaders and representatives of the Islamic countries during the second day of the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Istanbul, Friday, April 15, 2016. Muslim nations have agreed to establish a joint body based in Istanbul to fight terrorism. (Anadolu Agency/Pool via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rear center, addresses the leaders and representatives of the Islamic countries during the second day of the 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, Summit in Istanbul, Friday, April 15, 2016. Muslim nations have agreed to establish a joint body based in Istanbul to fight terrorism. (Anadolu Agency/Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A two-day summit bringing together leaders of the Islamic world concluded in the Turkish city of Istanbul with a pledge to combat terrorism, cast aside sectarian differences and address regional conflicts.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired the final session of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation summit on Friday morning. "As Muslims, we cannot overcome our difficulties without achieving unity in spite of our differences," he said at the closing ceremony held after a break for delegates to perform prayers.

The Turkish leader said that sectarianism, racism and terrorism are the three largest challenges confronting the Muslim world. He said establishing an international arbitration body in Istanbul was part of the OIC 2025 action plan.

Iyad Madani, the secretary general of the 57-member Islamic bloc, said more than 200 decisions were taken in the course of the summit.