ANKARA: OIC ministers back steps to end “occupation in Iraq”

OIC ministers back steps to end “occupation in Iraq”

Anatolia news agency, Ankara
17 Jun 04

subheadings as received

Istanbul, 16 June: Islamic countries have decided to assist each other
in their progress and reforms and announced that they would take steps
in putting an end to the unjust isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

Istanbul declaration was issued at the end of the 31st Session of
Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers.

The declaration said: “We, as the OIC members, will assist each other
in our progress and reform, which should come from within.” Stating
that OIC members were sovereign nations who worked for political,
economic, social and cultural progress, the declaration noted that
they valued their freedom and the equality of their citizens. “We
all aim to strengthen the representative character and the democratic
practices of our governments,” it stated.

“The OIC, as an institution, will also develop ways and means for
supporting progress in a collective framework. In this context, we
welcome the concept of enlightened moderation,” Istanbul declaration

It stressed that Islam countries were all determined to provide
contemporary education to our new generation.


The declaration noted: “We commend the Turkish Cypriot people for
overwhelmingly endorsing the United Nations Settlement Plan, on
the unification of the island, based on a new bizonal partnership
of the two politically equal constituent states. We welcome and
support the report of the United Nations secretary-general of 28
May 2004, as well as the conclusions and recommendations contained
therein. We also support the good offices mission of the United
Nations secretary-general.”

“In view of the fundamentally changed circumstances in Cyprus following
the 24 April 2004 referenda, we decided to take steps in putting an
end to the unjust isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. In the same vein,
we look forward to similar action by the international community and
bodies,” it stated.

Meanwhile, it has been decided that the Second Meeting of the OIC-EU
Joint Forum would convene in Istanbul between 4 and 5 October 2004.


It stressed that OIC members were resolved to pursue the peaceful
settlement of all international issues and spend efforts to persuade
all parties concerned to act accordingly and noted, “we can on
all concerned to address the question of Palestine and the wider
Arab-Israeli conflict as a matter of urgent priority. The objective
is to achieve full statehood for Palestine living side by side with
Israel within secure and recognized boundaries.”

OIC members said that the settlement could only be the outcome of
direct negotiations between the two parties and noted that equally,
the Syrian and Lebanese tracks must be brought to their successful
conclusion on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

“We have thus decided to support and closely monitor efforts towards
comprehensive peace and to declare that the successful outcome of these
efforts will be fully embraced by the OIC,” the declaration noted.


OIC members said that they supported the steps towards ending the
occupation in Iraq and they equally supported the process in which
the Iraqis would assume their sovereignty and stated: “We state
that this assumption of authority must be full. Also the political
transition towards the formation of an elected government must be
totally inclusive and transparent.”

“We welcome in this respect the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1546
by the United Nations Security Council which sets the framework for
this transition,” it stated.

OIC members condemned terrorism in all its forms and agreed to redouble
their efforts in fighting this international scourge.

“We will continue to support Afghanistan’s rebuilding process,” it
noted and said that the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir
should be fully respected and their will honoured in accordance with
international legitimacy.

The declaration stated that OIC members likewise supported the
resolution of the Azeri-Armenian conflict within the territorial
integrity of Azerbaijan.