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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:58, February 26, 2007
Seven Islamic countries call for resoling of Palestinian issue under U.N. resolutions
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The foreign ministers of seven Islamic countries have demanded that the Palestinian question must be resolved without delay on the basis of the United Nations resolutions and other peace initiatives and the Israeli withdrawal from Golan Heights and the Lebanese territories.

In a joint statement issued at the end of their one-day consultations here Sunday, the foreign ministers noted that all these initiatives recognized the need for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

At the press briefing, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri said that the meeting expressed concern over the continuing occupation and illegal actions of Israel including the latest violation against the Al-Aqsa mosque.

They called for unity among the Palestinians and welcomed the establishment of the Palestinian National Unity Government following the Makkah agreement through the efforts of King Abdullah bin Aziz of Saudi Arabia.

The ministers agreed that the international community must immediately help the Palestinian National Unity Government to revive economic activity in the Palestinian territories.

They also called for withdrawal by Israel from the occupied Syrian and Lebanese territories.

Kasuri said that the ministers expressed concern over tensions within Lebanon and called on all parties to exercise restraint.

"All states must respect Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence and must contribute to promoting its internal cohesion. They support the government of Lebanon and the deployment of its army throughout its territory," he said.

He said that the ministers agreed that conflict and violence in Iraq was a source of deep distress and anxiety to all Muslims.

"Unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq must be preserved and respected," he said. "The government of Iraq must make all efforts to achieve national reconciliation within that country."

The ministers viewed with deep concern the dangerous escalation of tension especially over the Iranian nuclear issue. They observed that it was vital that all issues must be resolved through diplomacy and there must be no resort to use of force.

"There is need for de-escalation instead of aggravation and confrontation in the Gulf region. All countries must work towards that objective," he said.

Kasuri said the ministers expressed their strong commitment to fight all forms of terrorism and extremism.

They also expressed deep concern over campaigns to malign the noble faith of Islam. Such acts and trends must be effectively dealt with and defeated, said Kasuri.

The ministers decided to continue their deliberations on ideas and plans to be presented to the leaders for decision at the forthcoming Makkah summit in Saudi Arabia.

Kasuri said the ministers were asked by their leaders to explore new approaches and ideas to address the situation in the Middle East, internal and external challenges confronting the Muslim world and the promotion of unity, solidarity and harmony among Muslim countries.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda, Foreign Minister of Egypt Ahmed Abdul Gheit, Foreign Minister of Jordan Abdullah-al-Khatib, Foreign Minister of Turkey Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister of Malaysia Syed Hamid Albar were present at the one-day consultative meeting to prepare an agenda for the proposed summit in Saudi Arabia.

The summit aims at launching a new Middle East peace initiative and addressing other political issues in the Muslim world, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon.

The meeting followed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's visit to various Muslim countries in recent weeks to promote a new peace initiative.

He said that apart from consultations amongst seven countries, the Pakistani leadership had also interaction with Iran, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian authority.

He said that the idea of forming a core group of seven countries was to make it more effective, adding that the seven countries present at Sunday's meeting were "the countries that agree on two state solution, land for peace and withdrawal of Israeli forces from Golan Heights."

"We will also have to consult China and Russia besides the United States and the European Union," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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