Muslim world watching US on Jewish settlements: OIC chief

The World Court has ruled all settlements illegal under international law.

Muslim world watching US on Jewish settlements: OIC chief

The Muslim world is watching how the United States will act on the stalled process for Palestinian-Israeli peace and wondering how Israeli settlements will be resolved, the world's top diplomat for Islamic world said on Saturday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he did not want to run in an upcoming poll, citing disappointment with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Abbas' frustration with Obama centred on the U.S. administration backing away from its own call for freeze on ongoing Israel settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian elections are scheduled for Jan. 24, though few are anxious to take on Abbas' role.

"We would like to keep our hopes that President Obama's commitments and good intentions will translate to reality, but of course we've found that the whole negotiation comes back to square one," said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

"The sine qua non for any negotiation is the stopping of the settlements ... We are still hopeful despite the fact that there are more reasons not to be hopeful," he told Reuters.

Ihsanoglu, a Turkish history professor who became OIC secretary general in 2005, spoke ahead of an economic summit.

Ihsanoglu rejected claims Muslim Turkey with was drifting away from its western allies.

"I don't see Turkey's strengthening its relations with its neighbours or the OIC countries at large as a substitute for its relations with other countries, including European countries, or the West," said Ihsanoglu.

The 57-nation OIC, based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, was set up in the early 1970s. The body represents more than one billion Muslims.

US actually bowed to Israel's refusal to stop settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, returning to where Obama admin starts in so-called "peace" talks.

U.S. President Barack Obama himself called only for "restraint" in settlement, not the "freeze" he had previously demanded, a retreat from his policy.

The United States had backed demands for a settlement freeze only a few months ago. But later in Israel, Clinton said talks must resume "as soon as possible" and praised hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to stop ongoing settlement buildings on occupaied lands as "unprecedented."

The World Court has ruled all settlements illegal under international law. Palestinians, who want their own state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, see the settlements as a land grab as an occupier "state"

A U.S.-backed peace "road map" of 2003 says Israel should stop settlement expansion.



Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Kasım 2009, 15:39
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Osman Ghazi
Osman Ghazi - 13 yıl Önce

That all they do, watch.