Malaysia Conference: Islamic states welcome Iraqi Governing Council, Slam Saddam
The world's Islamic states meeting in Malaysia Tuesday welcomed the U.S.-picked Governing Council in Iraq and condemned former leader Saddam Hussein, while pressing for U.S. troops to leave, according to a draft resolution.
Most of the 57-member nations of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) strongly opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq, but the resolution indicates they feel it is now time to move on from condemnation of Washington to rebuilding the war-torn county.
The resolution, approved by top officials, "welcomes" the establishment of Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council (IGC) and the appointment of Iraqi ministers as "an important provisional step in the right direction".
The council is represented in the Malaysia meeting by its current head, Ayad Allawi, despite earlier suggestions by the host nation that it should not attend on the grounds that the country is still under occupation.
The resolution begins with a statement that Saddam's regime "contributed to the instability in the region over the past three decades," pointing to the war against Iran in 1980, the invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and "its barbaric repression of the Iraqi people".
Furthermore, it "denounces the mass killings, as evidenced by the discovery of the mass graves, perpetrated by the former Iraqi regime against innocent people from Iraq, Iran and all other nationalities" and urges all states to refuse safe haven to former officials accused of "crimes".
The resolution notes, however, that the situation in Iraq now is "grave" and "constitutes a threat to international peace and security".
"The United Nations should play a central role in Iraq, covering all aspects of transition: political, security and economic," it says, according to AFP.
"In this regard (the OIC) calls upon the Security Council to take the necessary measures for setting a defined and clear timetable for the withdrawal of the occupying powers from Iraq as soon as possible."
The Security Council should also "ensure the forming of a constitution by the Iraqi people and the establishment of a representative government elected by the Iraqi people."
The resolution condemns the "terrorist and criminal bomb attacks against the Jordanian embassy, the UN headquarters in Baghdad and at the holy shrines in Najaf as well as the hostilities which targeted the innocent people and members of the Governing Council in Iraq."
In addition, it stresses Baghdad's right "to have full control over its natural resources." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)