Frustrated Iraq Derides OIC as ‘Saudi Corporation’

Published June 30th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A frustrated Iraq lashed out Friday at the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) after it failed to support a lifting of UN sanctions and instead warned Baghdad not to threaten its neighbors. 

"This meeting has been as much a failure as it is a disappointment," said senior diplomat Sa'doon al-Zubaydi. 

"We are in a corporation owned by Saudi Arabia. The organization has been going on for over a quarter-century and nothing has changed." 

After a four-day meeting of foreign ministers, Iraq wanted a resolution calling for a lifting of the United Nations sanctions imposed after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. 

Instead a toughly worded final communiqué reaffirmed the OIC's endorsement of Security Council Resolution 949 "calling on Iraq not to again use military force or any other forces in an aggressive or provocative manner to threaten its neighbors or UN operations in Iraq."  

The communiqué expressed sympathy for the suffering of the Iraqi people but told Baghdad to resume cooperation with the UN weapons monitoring operation. 

Zubaydi, Iraq's representative on the political committee at the meeting, told AFP the OIC was "behaving more like a corporation controlled by one state. 

"The so-called item (resolution) on Iraq portrays this organization as if it is living outside the course of history.  

"It is a divisive item, it's not in the spirit of Islam and it's not in the spirit of justice and it's not even in the spirit of UN resolutions." 

Zubaydi accused the 56-member OIC of double standards, saying it was concerned with Kuwaiti missing persons but ignored a larger number of Iraqi missing. 

He maintained that Iraq had implemented Security Resolutions but said the OIC ignored this. 

"They insist on drafting the so-called resolution in a manner that intensifies divisiveness and shows this organization to be more in the hands or more geared towards perpetuating the American message and the American plan in our region rather than the Islamic message." 

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar in his closing speech also criticized the OIC refusal to support a lifting of sanctions. 

He criticized outdated political resolutions and added: "The title and content of the resolution on Iraq is one important example, to which Malaysia has its own reservations." 

The draft resolution was entitled "The consequences of Iraq's aggression against the State of Kuwait and the necessity for Iraq to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions." 

The OIC, headquartered in Saudi Arabia, represents all the Arab states, which went to war against Iraq in 1991 under a US-led coalition to drive it out of Kuwait -- KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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