Informal OIC meet on Feb 26


  • Nation
  • Monday, 17 Feb 2003

By JANE RITIKOS

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will hold an informal meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries on Feb 26, a day after the 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit here, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar yesterday.  

He said invitations would be sent out to OIC members, including those who were not NAM members.  

He added that many of the OIC member countries had asked Malaysia whether it would host a meeting after the NAM summit. 

“Our intentions are good because the international development is fluid. The development in Iraq has become crucial because it will affect the countries in the Middle East and Muslim countries,” he said. 

Syed Hamid told reporters after closing the International Conference on Global Peace organised by the People's Alliance for Peace Malaysia at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel yesterday that Malaysia decided on Friday to hold the informal meeting after Qatar, which is the current chairman of OIC, turned down Malaysia's offer to host an OIC meeting right after the NAM summit. 

“But we view the situation as urgent and I thought that we might as well take advantage of the OIC members being here,” he said. 

Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad had expressed disappointment that Qatar had turned down Malaysia's offer, saying many heads of government of OIC countries would be converging here.  

Syed Hamid said Malaysia felt that the Iraq issue warranted an immediate meeting but an emergency OIC meeting would require going through procedures based on the council's charter. 

He also said he did not think that Qatar would object to the informal meeting. 

“We would like those (OIC countries) who attend the NAM summit to discuss our futureand destiny. 

“Surely the OIC countries which will be affected by the war on Iraq would not decline to discuss this.  

“Even if we have no resolutions we can make statements and find common areas of agreement,” Syed Hamid said.  

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