Pakistan to host Muslim meeting for ME peace

Pakistan will host a meeting of foreign ministers from seven Muslim states this month to discuss ways to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and restore peace to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry announced.

Pakistan to host Muslim meeting for ME peace
Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf toured the Middle East and Asia last month to rally support for a Muslim peace initiative aimed at ending the current conflicts in the region that threaten the rest of the Islamic world.

Muslim foreign ministers from Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Jordan and Saudi Arabia will meet in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on Feb. 25, the Pakistani foreign ministry said in a statement.

The secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, will also attend the gathering, which is aimed at paving the way for a summit of Muslim leaders at an unspecified date in the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca, the ministry added.

The goal of the summit is "a new initiative to address the grave situation in the Middle East, in particular the Palestinian issue, and for harmony in the Islamic world," the statement said.

Common ground

President Musharraf, whose country is a close U.S. ally but oppose some of Washington's policies in the Middle East, visited Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey and Iran in recent weeks to seek common ground for his peace initiative.

However, he provided no details on the plan, and it remains unclear how it might relate to the efforts of the so-called Middle East peace Quartet — the U.S., the European Union, Russia and the UN — which is desperately seeking to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Foreign Ministry said Pakistan will remain in contact with Iran, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon as well as the Palestinian leadership and "other important players with influence" in the Middle East.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Kasuri said Wednesday that the deepening conflicts in the Islamic world were the main reason behind extremism.

"Pakistan has been in the forefront in arguing that the festering Palestinian dispute is at the very heart of the radicalizing influences at work across the world today," he said.

"To this we must now add Iraq, Lebanon, growing instability in Afghanistan, heightened tension between Iran and U.S. as well as the rising Shia-Sunni (Muslim) strife in Iraq which can spill beyond its border," he said.

Meanwhile, President Musharraf stressed that it is vital to hold Iraq together.

"We cannot accept any division of Iraq. It will lead to a tremendous amount of upheaval in the region," he said Wednesday in a speech at a security conference in Islamabad.

The Pakistani leader also said that he is trying to gain the support of countries who back "a conciliatory approach instead of a confrontationist approach" to the region's problems.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16