The United States on Thursday commended the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for suspending Syria's membership, saying the move sent a "strong message" to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
"Today's action underscores the Assad regime's increasing international isolation and the widespread support for the Syrian people and their struggle for a democratic state that represents their aspirations and respects their human rights," US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
According to Egyptian daily Al-Ahram
, the closing statement at the OIC conference in Mecca also defined the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as "the central issue of the Islamic nation." It stressed the need to lift the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, as well as the importance of Palestinian reconciliation efforts.