Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to Dominate Islamic Summit
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is set to dominate the agenda of the summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Doha on November 12-14, organizers said Saturday.
The foreign ministers, in their preparatory meeting on November 9-10, and the leaders of the 56-member organization will each devote a special session to "Israel's aggressions against the Palestinian people," an OIC official said.
The heads of state are to due to converge on the Qatari capital on November 11.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the foreign ministers at their first working session would consider "measures which the Islamic countries could take to counter these aggressions and in support of the Palestinians."
Ahead of the ministerial meeting, senior officials are to meet Wednesday to draw up the agenda for the summit, at which Doha will take over the three-year OIC presidency from Iran.
Arab foreign ministers are to hold a separate meeting in Doha to discuss Israeli-Palestinian clashes that have killed almost 180 people, nearly all Arabs, since the end of September.
Arab leaders at an emergency summit in Cairo on October 21-22 threatened to cut links with Israel.
Iran has shed doubt on whether its president, Ali Khamenei, will attend the Islamic summit, after criticizing Qatar's failure to close an Israeli trade office in Doha and the OIC for not holding an earlier ministerial session on the crisis.
"It is normal that the entire Islamic world expects Qatar to close or freeze this office, as Qatar will be taking over the OIC presidency," said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Sadr.
Qatar established trade links with Israel in 1996 but froze the normalization process later the same year after right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu came to power as Israeli prime minister.
Oman, the only other Gulf Arab state to have links with Israel, closed its trade office in Tel Aviv and ordered the closure of the Jewish state's commercial mission in Muscat on October 12, two weeks into the Israeli-Palestinian clashes.
The OIC, based in the Saudi city of Jeddah, was founded in 1969 -- JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP)
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