Muslim leaders will mull Syria solutions

Muslim leaders will mull Syria solutions

JEDDAH - Leaders of Muslim countries, including Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will gather Tuesday (today) for an extraordinary summit called by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.

By (AFP, Reuters)

Published: Tue 14 Aug 2012, 8:42 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:55 PM

“The Syrian issue will be a top priority” in the summit taking place in the holy city of Makkah, according to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

War-ravaged Syria will not be represented in the summit, the head of the Jeddah-based 57-member organisation said.

A diplomat said that Syria will be suspended from the organisation on Wednesday for its violent suppression of a 17-month uprising against President Bashar Al Assad. “The resolution regarding the suspension of the Syrian membership in the OIC is not facing obstacles ... It will be approved,” said the diplomat, speaking on the sidelines of a preliminary foreign ministers meeting in Jeddah.

He said the decision was likely to be formally announced at the end of the second day of the summit.

The two-day summit convenes as fighting rages over Syria’s northern city of Aleppo between rebels and troops loyal to President Bashar Al Assad, 17 months into a countrywide conflict that has cost more than 21,000 lives, according to monitors.

“The world today is in a very sensitive situation,” Ahmadinejad told reporters on Monday just before leaving Tehran for Saudi Arabia, according to the Fars news agency.

“Saudi Arabia has called for the meeting after exhausting all possible means to solve the Syrian crisis,” said the head of the Gulf Research Centre, Abdulaziz Sager.

The Saudi analyst said the summit “should adopt a resolution for a peaceful transfer of power in Syria, including the departure of president Assad and the formation of a national union government.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Syrian opposition in exile called on the summit to adopt a “firm position to end the daily killing and force the regime to quit.”

Abdel Basset Sayda, who heads the opposition Syrian National Council, said that the rebels need the imposition of “two no-fly zones, one in the north, close to the Turkish border, and another in the south, close to the border with Jordan,” in addition to “safe places for refugees and humanitarian corridors.”

The Syrian opposition was not invited to attend the summit.

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