Assistant Foreign Minister Dr. Nizar Madani, representing the Kingdom at the emergency OIC foreign ministers conference on Saturday in Doha, Qatar, spoke of Israel's use of "a military force comprising aircraft, tanks, artillery and navy to bombard civilian Palestinian sites", and noted that Israel is dangerously escalating the situation in the occupied territories, provoking Arab and Islamic feelings, increasing tension in the region and endangering international peace and security. Dr. Madani recalled the speech of Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz at the recent OIC Summit in Doha, in which he said that the current circumstances are not only critical, but pose a real threat of explosion and the risk of the region slipping into a new whirlpool of violence and instability.
Speaking of Islamic solidarity, Dr. Madani declared that it is logical for all Muslims states to cease any relations with Israel, terminate any ties established under the peace process that has been disregarded by Israel, and make resumption of such relations conditional on real progress on all tracks of the peace process. The resolution of the problem, he said, should ensure the end of occupation, enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their national rights including that of return to their homeland, self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital. Dr. Madani stressed the importance of calling on the UN Security Council to protect the Palestinian people, put an end to all work on Israeli settlements, and stop measures and practices that contravene the UN resolutions and the agreements signed between the two sides.
Meanwhile, representatives of the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) began a three-day meeting in Jeddah today in preparation for the OIC foreign ministers conference scheduled for Mali June 25-29, 2001. OIC Secretary-General Dr. Abdulwahid Belgaziz voiced the organization's determination to restructure itself and update its mechanisms to become more viable in face of today's challenges. He called on the Islamic world for greater integrity in overcoming the current difficulties and paving the way for true Islamic unity, citing the crises in Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Southern Philippines, Balkans, Somalia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.