Monday, Oct 13, 2003
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By P. S. Suryanarayana
The attitude of Turkey came in for special attention behind the scenes, according to regional diplomatic observers, in the context of its move to send troops to Iraq.
Turkey's moves were seen to be at variance with the overwhelming opinion within the OIC that foreign forces should leave Iraq.
The heads of state/government summit will take place on Thursday and Friday. With the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, expected to participate as an observer, it is speculated that the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, might hold talks with him.
Any such meeting, which has been hinted at by the Pakistani authorities themselves, might acquire importance in the context of Islamabad's recent attempts to veer close to Moscow in a strategic sense.
Topping the list of the OIC's major political concerns are Iraq and the Palestine issues, besides the unsettled conditions in Afghanistan too.
The Kashmir issue has often figured at the OIC meetings, quite routinely.
The OIC leaders are expected to take note of the Turkish Parliament's endorsement of the Government's decision on troops to Iraq to help the U.S. restore "order and stability'' there.
A point being noticed in the OIC circles is that Turkey is the only Islamic state within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
As for the worsening situation of the Palestinians, the subejct of their sustainable resistance is on the OIC agenda. A distinction is being drawn in this specific context between a liberation struggle and Israel's perceived portrayal of the Palestinian question as no more than political `terrorism'.
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