Islamic nations urge US to withdraw from Iraq

Islamabad, May 18 (NNN-ANTARA News) — Foreign ministers from Muslim nations called Thursday on international forces to pull out of Iraq as soon as possible.

The joint declaration came at the end of a three-day meeting in Islamabad of foreign ministers from the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

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“We emphasise … accelerating the capacity of the Iraqi security forces and securing the earliest possible withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq,” it said.

The declaration also warned that Iraq should not be split along Sunni-Shiite lines.

It made no reference to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s suggestion that a UN-mandated Muslim force should be deployed in Iraq.

The OIC declaration called for a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and an end to the “foreign occupation” of Muslim countries to promote global peace and security.

The ministers denounced the “growing trend of Islamophobia and systematic discrimination against the adherents of Islam,” the declaration was quoted by AFP as saying.

It also “strongly” condemned the global menace of terrorism and vowed to make collective efforts to fight against it.

The declaration covered Lebanon, the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, Afghanistan, the row over Iran’s nuclear programme, conflicts in Sudan and other Muslim countries. — NNN-ANTARA