D-8 summit avoids Iran nuclear issue

A summit of eight large Muslims countries has ended without discussing the diplomatic crisis over Iran's nuclear programme.

    Member countries agreed to co-operate on nuclear energy

    However, members at the meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali agreed on Saturday that the countries should co-operate to develop atomic energy.

     

    Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president who hosted the one-day Developing Eight (D-8) summit, was asked at its conclusion whether international reaction to Iran's nuclear ambitions was about anti-Islamism.

     

    "We did not discuss specifically on Iran, so there is no statement formally or informally to connect the Iranian nuclear issue with Islamophobia," he told a press briefing.

     

    "We strictly looked at it as a problem of communication and  co-operation between Iran and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)."

     

    "I appealed to Iranian President Ahmadinejad to continue co-operation between Iran and the IAEA to find a peaceful and just solution," he added.

     

    Focus on trade

     

    Western nations have been seeking to halt Iran's nuclear  enrichment programme, fearful that it is using it as a cover to  develop an atomic bomb. 

    Iran says it wants nuclear power
    for peaceful purposes 

     

     

    Iran insists it is only pursuing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

     

    A declaration from the D-8, whose members are Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, did not mention Iran's nuclear issue.

     

    However it affirmed member commitment "to develop alternative and renewable energy resources, among others biofuel, biomass, hydro, solar, wind and the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes".

     

    The forum focuses on commercial and economic co-operation among member states in science, industry and investment.

     

    In keeping with its focus on trade, the group said it gave "full support" to the quick accession of Iran to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

     

    It also called on WTO members to "accelerate the application and accession process of all developing countries based on  non-discriminatory principles".

     

    The D-8 held its first summit in 1997 and last met in the Iranian capital, Tehran, in February 2004. The eight nations have a combined population of about 500 million people.

    SOURCE: AFP


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