Malaysian local press reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, chairman of the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said he would despatch his foreign minister to Riyadh to discuss the plan.

 

Saudi Crown Prince Abd Allah bin Abd al-Aziz urged Kuala Lumpur on Friday to organise a summit "so that we can overcome, with our faith in God ... the state of dismemberment and fragmentation" among Muslims.

 

The leaders' conference should be preceded by meetings among "the [Islamic] nation's thinkers and scholars ... to outline visions of the nation's future and thus assist the gathering of the leaders, which I hope will be held here, in this pure land", he said.

 

The leaders would "search for common ground and strengthen the bonds" among Muslims, the Saudi prince said.

 

Preliminary meeting

 

The Malaysian prime minister, who was in Paris for a conference on biodiversity, said the preliminary meeting would be held soon to identify the scope and topics for discussion at the summit.

 

"We do not want the summit to be without focus and engage in discussions aimlessly without any fruitful conclusion. We want to see implementation of resolutions adopted," Badawi said.

 

Asked whether the summit was being called following US President George Bush's refusal to rule out the possibility of an attack on Iran, he said: "Let us talk about our concerns first. Otherwise, we will be confused. If we are weak, others will threaten us."

 

He said the summit would touch on political issues and Islamic ideology among other matters, Malaysia's official Bernama news agency reported.