OIC welcomes Iraq council

The world's Islamic nations have controversially welcomed the setting up of Iraq's US-appointed governing council.

    Iraqi governing council's decisions can be vetoed by Americans

    In a statement at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday, the Organisation of Islamic Conference also stressed the right of the Iraqi people to fully control their natural resources and "establish a fully representative and broad-based government".

    The statement will be a psychological boost to

    Baghdad's US and British rulers, who have been under

    fire from the Muslim world since invading Iraq in March

    .

    But it will go down like a lead balloon in parts of the Muslim world where many are against giving the American-led occupation legitimacy. 

    Mass killings

    Foreign ministers from the 57-nation O

    IC called on group members to provide "all

    forms of support and assistance to meet Iraq's needs" so the

    war-torn country can quickly get back on its feet.

    But it also "condemned with deep sorrow" alleged mass

    killings of innocent Iranians and Kuwaitis as well as Iraqis,

    carried out by Iraq's former rulers.

    "The meeting called for bringing to justice the officials

    of the former Iraqi regime who committed such crimes," the OIC 

    statement said.

    Iraq's 25-member governing council was appointed in July by

    US administrator Paul Bremer, who can veto its decisions.

    Iraqi constitution

    Council members have been pressing Washington to give it

    greater leeway to administer their oil-rich nation.

    US Secretary of State, Colin

    Powell, said last week he wanted to see an Iraqi constitution

    ready for ratification in about six months

    .

    But the Iraqi group working on the new constitution said it

    would be impossible to complete the job within that time

    because of deep disagreements over major issues

    .

    SOURCE: AFP


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