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posted May 23, 2001 11:06     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Iran and Syria in talks on coming OIC summit

TEHRAN, May 22 (AFP) - Iran and Syria held further talks on the coming Islamic summit in Qatar called to address the crisis in the Middle East, the official IRNA news agency said Tuesday. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi received a call from his Syrian counterpart Faruq al-Shara on Monday evening ahead of Saturday's ministerial meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Doha, it said.

"Foreign ministers of the Islamic countries must adopt clear and decisive stands" and "reveal and denounce the Zionist regime's crimes," Kharazi said.

Syria is Iran's closest ally in the Middle East.

Saturday's meeting comes amid some controversy after Qatar, which currently holds the OIC's rotating presidenct, reportedly allowed Israel to keep its trade office in Doha open.

Doha had said it closed the office on the eve of an OIC summit in November under pressure of a boycott.

Qatar, in its role as OIC chair, urged the UN Security Council on Saturday to act in the face of Israel's "savage aggressions" against the Palestinians.

More than 560 people have been killed since the latest Palestinian uprising, or intifada, broke out against Israel in late September.

The two sides were again at odds Tuesday, divided over the terms of the Mitchell report on their ongoing conflict and whether a halt to the violence or a freeze on Jewish settlements would come first in the latest push for peace.

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