Islamic Summit Conference ends in Mecca

'Palestine is at heart of all problems'

GMT 17:58 2012 Thursday ,16 August

Arab Today, arab today 'Palestine is at heart of all problems'

Islamic Summit Conference ends in Mecca
Mecca - Agencies

Islamic Summit Conference ends in Mecca The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation concluded its extraordinary summit with the fact that Palestine is the central issue of the Islamic world. The withdrawal of Israel from occupied territories is considered a vital requirement by the OIC.
The Summit also calls for making efforts for regaining Al-Quds and the preservation of its Islamic historical characteristics and providing the necessary resources to preserve Al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy places and their protection.
The Summit reaffirms previous resolutions concerning the lifting of the continuing illegal Israeli siege in the Gaza Strip, calling on the UN Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities in preserving and maintaining international peace and security, and taking immediate action to lift the siege and compel Israel to stop its continual aggression against the Palestinian people.
The international Islamic body had decided to suspend Syria from the organisation in protest against the Assad regime on Monday.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation - which comprises 57 countries held a meeting on Monday ahead of the extraordinary summit starting on Tuesday in Mecca.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country has openly criticised the push to suspend Syria, is attending the extraordinary meeting.
Iran is the Syrian regime's biggest regional ally and has pledged its full support for embattled President Bashar al-Assad in his fight to remain in power, though it denies providing him with soldiers or arms.
Earlier this month, ISNA news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying that "retired" members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards and army are among 48 Iranians taken hostage by rebels in Syria.
Tehran, however, accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming and financing the mainly Sunni Syrian rebels against Assad, who hails from the Alawite minority -- an off-shoot of Shiite Islam.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia, which hosts the headquarters of the OIC based in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, has openly called for arming Syrian rebels.
Salehi on Monday assured reporters that "we are on track for increasing and improving the level of relations with Saudi Arabia."
However, the Iranian minister criticised the move to suspend Syria's membership of the OIC.
"We certainly do not agree with the suspension of any OIC member," Salehi said after the meeting.
"The suspension of its membership does not really resolve the issue and is not in line with the OIC charter," he said. "We have to look for other ways, means and mechanisms for resolving conflicts and crises."
Salehi called for "paving the way for a meeting between the opposition and the Syrian government so they can negotiate with the help of others to reach a Syrian-Syrian solution."
But apparently, most OIC members disagreed with Iran. Sources close to the meeting said that only Iran and Algeria were against the recommendation. Syria had no representatives at the meeting.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Ahmed Taieb, a top Saudi foreign ministry official told AFP that "some delegates" were calling for further steps against Damascus by "demanding that the current president step down and preparing for a post-Assad transition period.”
The suspension was proposed by Saudi King Abdullah, who is pushing to mobilise support for the Syrian rebels.
OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that everyone in Syria should know that a scorched-earth policy has never been a guarantee for stability or a safety valve.
He said: "It is rather a crack in the body of the nation and a deep wound which would take a long time to heal, especially at a time when the world today is shedding the toga of individualism.”
In his speech, Ihsanoglu said that "Syria is now experiencing the tragedies of a destructive war which we have continuously and repeatedly warned against. It saddens us all that the country has entered a dark and endless tunnel. This can be considered as the expected result of ignoring the people's legitimate demands and aspirations."

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