Washington, DC - On December 21-22, the U.S. Department of State and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) met for its inaugural annual bilateral consultations at the State Department in Washington, DC. The annual consultations will enable greater U.S.-OIC dialogue and collaboration on shared regional and global challenges.

The consultations were chaired by Acting U.S. Special Envoy to the OIC Arsalan Suleman and Acting Director General for Political Affairs and Director of African Affairs Ambassador Yahaya Lawal. Coordinated by the Secretary’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs, the bilateral consultations included participation by senior officials from various regional and functional bureaus in the U.S. Department of State. The OIC delegation included senior officials from the OIC Secretariat in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the Office of the OIC's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations.

 The two sides exchanged views and information on priority regional issues across the globe, particularly in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia. They also reviewed existing collaborative efforts and ongoing challenges in countering violent extremism, conflict resolution, promoting human rights and gender equality, and encouraging refugee and humanitarian assistance.

The two sides pledged to continue to work together and welcomed the initiation of the annual bilateral consultations as a further step in deepening U.S.-OIC engagement and cooperation in addressing shared challenges on the basis of mutual interest and respect. A fact sheet providing further details on the U.S.-OIC relationship was also developed.

The annual bilateral consultations between the U.S. Department of State and the OIC will alternate locations between Washington, DC and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.