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Muslim Summit Meets On Middle East Crisis

Iranian President Ahmadinejad has criticized the Security Council's inaction (file photo) (epa) August 3, 2006 -- Leaders from countries in the world's largest Muslim political bloc have today opened an emergency summit to organize support for an immediate end to Israeli military operations in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad is among the leaders attending the summit of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference in the Malaysian city of Putrajaya.

Speaking to reporters at the meeting, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri described Israel's offensive in Lebanon as a "massacre" that has angered Muslims around the world and could provoke a clash of civilizations.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi criticized the United Nations Security Council for not taking a harder line against Israel, and called on Muslim countries to be ready to commit forces to a proposed UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

(compiled from agency reports)

The Middle East Crisis

The Middle East Crisis
Israeli tanks poised on the border with Lebanon on August 2 (epa)

CLASH OF ARMS: Since mid-July, Israel has been battling Hizballah guerrillas in southern Lebanon and carrying out punishing air strikes throughout the country. International efforts to broker a cease-fire have met with one obstacle after another, as civilian casualties mount and a humanitarian crisis unfolds. Since Hizballah is closely supported by Syria and Iran, the conflict threatens constantly to develop into a regional conflagration.... (more)


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