OIC Declaration Condemns Karabakh Movement

TEHRAN (Combined Sources)–Islamic leaders from across the world ended their eighth summit Thursday in Tehran after adopting a final declaration pledging to promote Islamic solidarity and condemning Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands.

The leaders prolonged their meeting to debate the five-page–strongly-worded Tehran Declaration–and decide the venue for their next meeting–at the end of the three-day summit Thursday afternoon.

The Tehran declaration condemned the Karabakh movement–demanding the withdrawal of the Karabakh forces from neutralized Azeri firing posts. At the same time however–the declaration called for self-determination rights of the Palestinian nation.

In addition–the summit adopted a resolution entitled "Armenian Aggression Against Azerbaijan," which affirmed the summit’s support for the activities of the OSCE in the region and its principles of resolving the conflict adopted during the OSCE Lisbon Summit in December 1996.

Azeri President Gaidar Aliyev who was actively lobbying OIC member states to condemn the Armenian side–hailed the summit for adopting a special resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The summit was attended by delegates from 54 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference–including more than 30 heads of state–vice presidents–crown princes and prime ministers.

Highlighting Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories including Al-Qods (Jerusalem)–the Syrian Golan Heights and South Lebanon–the declaration called for the liberation of all occupied lands and restoration of Palestinian rights to self-determination and to an independent and sovereign state with Jerusalem as its capital.

It condemned Israel’s expansionist policies and practices–like the establishment and expansion of Jewish settlemen’s–and acts to change the demographic and geographic status of the holy city of Jerusalem.

The Islamic leaders demanded Israel desist from state terrorism–join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and put all its nuclear installations under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards in order to make the Middle East a region free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

The declaration pledged full support for inter-Afghan dialog–formation of a broad-based government–and activities to stop the bloodshed and to establish lasting peace.

The declaration also struck a distinction between terrorism and people’s right to fight against foreign occupation for self-determination. Efforts should be intensified to combat terrorism in all its forms–it said.

They called for safeguarding the Islamic values and principles–the revival of Islamic civilization–and its peaceful coexistence with other civilizations.

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