Meeting of Islamic nations calls to eviction of foreign troops from Iraq
The world's Islamic nations held their biggest meeting in three years Saturday with a call for the eviction of U.S. forces from Iraq and the rapid restoration of its sovereignty.
The gathering in Malaysia of the 57 countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the world's biggest Muslim political grouping, is its first regular summit since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Abdelouahed Belkaziz, the OIC's secretary general, told the participants that Islamic states "are still under the strain of extremely difficult challenges and unprecedented threats to our countries' independence, sovereignty, security and courses."
Top priority should go to "the eviction of foreign forces from Iraq, allowing the United Nations to administer Iraqi affairs (as a) prelude to restoration of Iraq's independence, and to the rebuilding of what has been destroyed over the past 20 years, all in accordance with a clear and short timetable," he said, according to The AP.
Host Malaysia has said that Muslim states should not heed U.S. calls to send peacekeepers to Iraq unless the United Nations takes control of such operations. Turkey has given the green light to send troops.
"We don't like to have any peacekeeping troops from neighboring countries, because it might cause problems inside Iraq," said Riyadh al-Fadhli, a senior Iraqi Foreign Ministry official. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)