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22 April 2004

M'sia To Head OIC Delegation To Meet Major Middle Quartet

By Leslean Arshad

PUTRAJAYA, April 22 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will head a delegation of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) in a meeting with the Quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations to discuss peace plan and call for an immediate halt to violence in the Middle East.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said this was agreed to at the OIC Special Meeting on Middle East to discuss the Palestinian issue and Iraq.

He said that as the 10th OIC chairman, Malaysia would decide the delegation members.

"We will make preparations for the meeting as soon as possible...We will discuss and decide which countries should be in the delegation," he told reporters after chairing the morning session of the one-day special meeting at the Putrajaya Convention Centre here.

He said Palestine and Morroco would definitely be included in the delegation.

On the special meeting, Syed Hamid said OIC-member countries attending the meeting unanimously agreed that the Palestinians had the rights to establish an independent and sovereign state.

"The discussion was encouraging. We reached a consensus without any controversy on the question of Palestine," he said.

Syed Hamid said the special meeting also agreed that the OIC should safeguard the peace plans initiated by the Arab countries and the Quartet.

He said it also rejected Israel's unilateral action to change and adopt the peace plan to suit its own needs.

Asked whether there was a call to apply economic and political sanctions against Israel, he said, "We don't do such a thing."

He said the OIC reiterated its stand to give political, moral and social support to the Palestinians.

Syed Hamid said that what the OIC could do was to demand that Israel respected the international law.

"Our action must be according to our capability. If our action is based on rhetoric and emotions, it would go nowhere," he said.

Syed Hamid said the United States and Britain also acknowledged the role played by the OIC in world peace.


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