Conference Opens in Bahrain; To Discuss Palestine, Iraq and Human Rights

Published April 1st, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Some 250 political advocates and activists from across 22 Arab countries are scheduled to meet Monday in Bahrain at a congress to review the political situation in the region, especially the situation in occupied Palestine, the U.S. move to launch a military strike against Iraq, human rights issues in the Arab world, and many other issues. 


The four-day conference begins Monday morning at the Bahrain Conference Center, Holiday Inn. 


"The main focus of the meeting will be the worsening situation in the occupied Palestine triggered off by the continued Israeli aggression and the U.S. move to launch a military strike on Iraq and its devastating impact in the region, especially on the GCC countries" said Abdulrahman Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the National Democratic Action Society known as Jamiat Al Amal Al Watani. 


"This is a gathering of democratic, secular and liberal political personalities," said Al Nuaimi, a member of the congress. 


"We are totally against any form of military strike against Iraq or any Arab country. All that is needed to bring stability to the region is not to launch a military strike on Iraq, which has already been battered by the Gulf War and the more than a decade old UN sanctions which has brought untold misery to the Iraqi people who had no say in the decisions taken by the Iraqi leadership”.  


"The need of the hour is to get the brutal Israeli forces out of occupied Palestine territories and ensure that the Palestinians live a normal life in peace and harmony like all other human beings in the world in their own state, which is their unchallenged legitimate right," Al Nuaimi stated, according to Gulf News daily. 


Speaking about the conference, Al Nuaimi told the daily, "This comes at a very crucial time when the Arab world is passing through (a) lot of difficulties and uncertainties caused by the Israeli aggression and the U.S. policy of siding with Israel and its military threat to Iraq with potential devastating consequences on the Arab world. This is the reason why we decided to focus the discussions on the Palestine-Israeli conflict, the intifada and the worsening situation in the occupied territories”. 


"The participants will also discuss the best possible means to help the Palestinian brothers and sisters who have been subjected to endless inhuman sufferings at a time when the world is moving towards a new era in the new millennium," Al Nuaimi added. 


In addition, he thanked Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, for granting permission to hold the conference in Bahrain. It should be noted that this is the first time such a conference is being held in a GCC country, Gulf News reported.  


He said the congress would be attended by some senior political figures from all over the Arab world such as Dheyauddin Dawood, General Secretary of the Arab National Congress; Dr Khairuddin Hasseb, Chairman of the Beirut-based Center for Arab Unity Studies; and Ahmed Obaidat, former Prime Minister of Jordan.  


Meanwhile, in another important development demonstrating the improving ties between Iraq and the Gulf countries, a 12-member delegation from Iraq which includes Shabib Al Maliki, President of Baghdad-based Arab Federation of Lawyers, and several Palestinian political activists will be attending the congress.  


The other participants include Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, Mufti of Al Quds; Hannah Saliba, Cardinal of Jerusalem; Jarallah Omar, Deputy Secretary General, Yamani Socialist Party; Abu Maher Al Yamani, former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; Dr. Asad Abdul Rahman, former Palestinian minister in charge of refugees and many other figures. ( 


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