Emergency OIC talks a success, says Syed Hamid

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 08 Mar 2003


PUTRAJAYA: The emergency summit of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) in Doha is successful, as member countries have accepted a common declaration on both the Palestinian and Iraqi issues “without debate.” 

However, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said it remained to be seen whether any of the measures suggested by member countries would be carried out. 

“The OIC has no ability to enforce or implement whatever that was discussed and agreed upon in our communiqués. 

“At the end of the day, the OIC can only influence and persuade the world to force both sides in the Palestinian conflict to go back to the negotiating table, and for the United States to stop threatening war on Iraq. 

MUCH TO DISCUSS: Syed Hamid welcoming Dr Surakiart at Putrajaya during the Thai minister's visit Friday.

“Ultimately, the Muslim countries in West Asia must have the desire to resolve these issues because all the events are occurring in the region. Any measure to be implemented will depend on these countries,” he told reporters after receiving a courtesy call from his Thai counterpart, Dr Surakiart Sathirathai, at Wisma Putra here yesterday. 

Syed Hamid was commenting on the OIC summit in Qatar, which was attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Some groups had criticised the summit as lacking a strategy on Palestine and Iraq. 

Only eight heads of government attended the summit out of the 48 member countries represented. 

Syed Hamid said the emergency summit was held merely to discuss the two outstanding issues. 

“Any proper strategy should be mapped out at the next proper OIC summit in October here,” he added. 

Syed Hamid said he was assured by US ambassador to Malaysia Marie T. Huhtala that any “regime of change” in Iraq was to be a consequence, and not an objective of war. 

“It would seem that the United States has shifted its focus to an intention of using UN Resolution 1441 and there should only be war if Iraq does not comply fully with the resolution.” 

On his meeting with Dr Surakiart, Syed Hamid said Thailand had expressed interest in discussing further the freedom of movement of goods and the opening up of borders between Thailand and Malaysia. 

These are expected to be the matters up for discussion at the two countries’ joint commission meeting at ministerial level today. 

Thailand has promised to support Malaysia in making the Non-Aligned Movement more effective, said Syed Hamid. 

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