Powell Praises Stance of Global Muslim Organization
US Secretary of State Colin Powell praised statements from the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Wednesday as he welcomed NATO Secretary General George Robertson, said reports.
Speaking to reporters, Powell said he was "very pleased" with the results of both meetings.
Referring to the OIC final communiqué, he said, "I thought it was a good statement. They deplored what happened on September 11 and indicated this is not the kind of behavior they would find favorable.
"It certainly does not reflect the faith they all believe in."
Robertson told the reporters "there is a sense of solidarity internationally at the present moment and that must lead to these cells of terrorists being challenged because at the end of the day, the survival of civilization may stand here as the biggest challenge for all of us."
Participants in the extraordinary OIC meeting are circulating a final communiqué condemning terrorism and voicing readiness to fight the problem under UN auspices, while also criticizing the behavior of Israeli occupation forces in Palestine.
Al Jazeera satellite channel, citing the final communiqué, said those present condemned as "brutal" the airborne suicide attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, and expressed readiness to fight in an anti-terrorism war provided it was waged under the UN banner.
However, the 57-member organization said it wanted terrorism to be accurately defined at a UN conference that would be held for this purpose.
Furthermore, no more Muslim or Arab countries should be attacked, according to Qatari Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani, who spoke at a press conference broadcast by Al Jazeera.
The participants said they wanted a clear distinction to be made between terrorism on the one hand, and national struggles against occupation on the other.
The latter point was made in reference to the Palestinians and Lebanon, who the OIC said were fighting against Israeli occupation troops.
Those present warned Israel against continuing with its “brutal practices against the Palestinians.”
Islamic countries also showed concern over what they called attempts to link the Islamic faith to terrorism, and anti-Muslim acts in the US and worldwide.
The Qatari minister further said that the OIC was worried by civilian casualties in the current US war against Afghanistan, and supported a call by the conference’s president, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to set up a fund to aid the Afghan people.
Meanwhile, the OIC demanded that the US provide “solid evidence” linking suspected terrorists to the attacks on the US.
Thani said that so far, Washington had provided no “material evidence” to substantiate its accusations – Albawaba.com