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From davemull@alphalink.com.au Tue Nov 14 17:41:56 2000
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 13:46:02 -0600 (CST)
Organization: South Movement
From: David Muller <davemull@alphalink.com.au>
Subject: [southnews] Islamic world aims to punish Israel
Article: 108972
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Islamic world aims to punish Israel for Palestinian bloodshed

AFP, 12 November 2000

DOHA—The world's Muslim leaders prepared on Sunday to open a summit in the Qatari capital dominated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to discuss proposals for a punitive break in relations with the Jewish state.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was to deliver the first of the keynote speeches after the opening at 10 am (0700 GMT) of the three-day summit of the 56-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, whose country is to take over the three-year rotating presidency of the OIC from Iran at the end of the summit, was to follow.

Other speakers include UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, South African President Thabo Mbeki as current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, and Arab League chief Esmat Abdel Meguid.

A special session devoted to the serious conditions in the Palestinian territories, where more than 200 people have been killed in six weeks of clashes, almost all Palestinians, was scheduled for later Sunday.

While Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was in Doha for the summit after talks in the United States and at the United Nations, it was the turn of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to meet with US President Bill Clinton on Sunday.

Clinton brokered an Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire at a summit last month in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that failed to take hold, with another seven people killed on Saturday as the violence raged on.

A draft resolution to be submitted to leaders of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims invites Islamic countries, notably in Africa, to break with Israel for its alleged war crimes.

Twenty-six countries were to be represented by their heads of state, whereas Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Moroccan King Mohamed VI, both of whose countries have rocky ties with Qatar, were among the notable absentees.

The draft drawn up by foreign ministers calls for an international tribunal to judge Israeli war criminals and commits OIC states to recognise an independent Palestinian state once declared.

Held under tight security at a seafront hotel, the summit is also to debate the lingering civil war in Afghanistan, the Kashmir conflict, Kosovo and Chechnya.

Normal flights into Doha international airport resumed late Saturday after a closure of more than 12 hours during which dozens of delegation heads streamed into the tiny Gulf emirate of around 600,000 inhabitants.

About 800 journalists are covering the summit, attended by 5,000 participants, according to the organisers.

The summit hosts bought 1,200 new cars including a fleet of dozens of Jaguars to ferry delegates through the streets of Doha, many of which have been reserved for the official motorcades.