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Iran wants full Islamic support for Palestinians at Qatar OIC meet
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posted May 22, 2001 10:12
TEHRAN, May 21 (AFP) - Iran said Monday it will press the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to give its unequivocal backing to the Palestinian uprising when the group's foreign ministers meet in Qatar next week. The call comes amid some Arab and Muslim outrage at Qatar, which now holds the presidency of the OIC and has reportedly allowed Israel to keep its trade office in Doha open. Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said Tehran wanted the OIC, which it headed before passing the presidency to Qatar, to announce full Muslim backing for the intifada, or uprising, against the Jewish state.
He said Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi would "deliver Iran's clear position about its support, and the firm support all Muslim nations must have, for the intifada and the rights of the Palestinian people."
The OIC's ministerial meeting will be "a good opportunity to take solid decisions concerning the Palestinians and to bring the criminal activities of the Zionist regime to a halt," said Asefi, cited by state radio.
Qatar itself called the May 26 meeting because "the present Israeli government does not intend to make peace with the Palestinians," Doha's foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, said Wednesday.
But Sheikh Hamad also admitted last week that an Israeli trade office in Doha -- which Qatar said it had closed on the eve of an OIC summit in November under pressure of a boycott -- was still open.
"Qatar's positions are not contradictory," he said, but Doha has come under heavy fire for the revelation, including in the press in Iran, which does not recognise the state of Israel.
The Arab League on Saturday recommended "stopping all Arab political contacts with the Israeli government as long as the aggression and blockades against the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority continue."
Two more Palestinians were killed earlier Monday as the international community expressed mounting concern the Middle East crisis could erupt into a full-scale war.
posted July 09, 2003 04:57
All times are PT (US)
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