Shaukat Aziz, Pakistan's foreign minister, will open Sunday's gathering and the ministers will also call on Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president.

 

Iran, Syria and the Palestinian Authority will not be attending the conference in Islamabad, but officials said they would be kept fully informed of the outcome of the deliberations.

 

The meeting follows a recent diplomatic shuttle around the Islamic world by Musharraf, a key US ally, who is warning that the unrest in the Middle East could spread worldwide.

 

The conference is also part of an attempt to convey a message to world powers that this region can not afford another conflict against the backdrop of growing tensions between Washington and Tehran, officials said.