Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Iyad Madani has announced resignation from his post “for health reasons” just two days after he mocked Egypt’s Al-Sisi during an OIC ministerial meeting in Tunisia. Former Saudi Minister of Social Affairs Yousef Al-Othaimeen was nominated to be Madani’s successor as OIC secretary General, reported Al-Jazeera.
The Organization Islamic Cooperation (OIC), based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia said in a statement Monday evening that Madani who has held office since 2014, “resigned for health reasons,” and added that he took this opportunity to express his full appreciation and respect to all the OIC member-states , adding that Saudi Arabia nominated Yusuf Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen to be the new secretary general of the organization.
Madani’s resignation comes two days after Egypt expressed its condemnation of Madani’s remarks that it considered as a disservice to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Madani had commented in his statement in Tunisia on what has become known as “Al-Sisi Fridge”.
In its first reaction to Madani’s resignation, Egypt has announced support for the nomination of Dr. Yusuf Bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen as the new secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, according to Al-Arabiya.
Egypt’s Foreign Minister had condemned the remarks of the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC ) which he considered were mocking al-Sisi. Head of the OIC Iyad Madani mocked al Sisi when he confused the name of the Tunisian President Caid Essebsi with Al-Sisi at an OIC ministerial conference hosted by Tunisia.
Madani told Essebsi, ” This is a big mistake. I’m sure your fridge has more than water, Mr. president.” referring to a statement made by Sisi a few days earlier.
During the First nation youth conference held at Sharm al-Sheikh, Al-Sisi said,”For ten years, my fridge had nothing but water and no one heard my voice.”
Al-Sisi’s statements were addressed to the Egyptian people, who suffer from harsh economic conditions, to bear the hard times.
Many Egyptian activists on the social media mocked al-Sisi for his comments and enclosed a hashtag al-Sisi _Fridge that took the highest rate on Twitter trend chart.
In response to Iyad Madani’s statements, Foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said during a parliamentary session that Madani’s comments were “unacceptable”, adding that they represented a “gross mistake”.
Shoukry also said,”We released a statement to condemn the comments made by an international civil servant who leads a prestigious organization that Egypt is proud to be one of its founders.”
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in his statement that Egypt shall accordingly review its position towards the Organisation’s Secretariat and Secretary-General.
The statement added,”Such remarks do not conform with the responsibilities and the duties of the Organization’s Secretary General position, and fundamentally affect his ability to carry out his duties.”
For his part, the former Saudi minister Iyad Madani apologized for his comments in a statement saying that he didn’t intend to offend the Egyptian leadership.
Iyad Madani’s mockery came at a time of rising tensions between Cairo and Riyadh as a result of Egypt’s divergent stances in sensitive issues to Riyadh.
Egypt has voted in favor of a Russian-backed draft resolution in the UN Security Council on Syria, which was opposed by SaudiArabia .
As a result, Egypt’s stance has angered Egypt’s major Gulf backer which condemned Egypt’s vote and described it with the ” painful” stance.
After the voting, the Saudi ambassador to the UN, Abduallah al-Mouallimi said, “It was painful that the Senegalese and Malaysian stance was closer to the Arab’s consensus than the Egyptian delegation.”
He also said that he feels pity for these countries that voted for the Russian resolution, stressing that his country will continue backing the Syrian people by all means.
Two days following the voting, Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco announced halting oil product supply to Egypt.
The sudden halt, triggered a scornful media campaign against Saudi Arabia, as it was seen as a political decision. On the other side , Saudi journalists and media men criticized the Egyptian regime and blamed the kingdom or its financial generosity to al-Sisi regime .