Instead the meeting, which ended on Friday, was largely overshadowed by host Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad’s controversial remarks about Jews.
The 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) tempered calls for a US pull out from Iraq, opting instead to call for the rapid restoration of Iraq’s sovereignty.
It also slammed Israel and a US congressional vote for trade sanctions on Syria, though took no concrete action.
OIC deliberations on Iraq were largely overtaken by events in New York, where the UN unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at internationalising the military presence in Iraq – a diplomatic victory for US efforts to broaden backing for its occupation.
Mahathir, who retires on 31 October after some 22 years in power, urged delegates to push for peace after decades of conflict with Israel in a typically blunt speech that included jibes about the influence of Jews over Western powers.
“It’s not our job to raise money. The main responsibility is the responsibility of the occupying power”
His speech on Thursday said Muslims should start using brains rather than brawn to defeat Israel. He went on to accuse the Jewish people of an increasing arrogance and said this could and should be exploited to promote the cause of Muslim peoples.
The final communiqué “condemned the perpetration by Israel of crimes, murder, detention, destruction of homes, demolition of infrastructure and imposition of collective sanctions on the Palestinian people”.
It branded as “apartheid” the Jewish settlements in occupied Arab territory and the construction by Israel of a wall through the West Bank. It also condemned the “Judaisation” of Jerusalem.
Still, neither the communiqué, nor a separate declaration on East Jerusalem and Palestine mentioned the intifada.
Ayad Allawi (L) represented Iraq
On Thursday at UN headquarters in New York, a reluctant Security Council backed the text of the resolution at the last moment, though France, Russia and Germany said it conceded too little on their demands for a greater UN role in Iraq for them to commit further troops or cash.
Muslim nations agonised over the past week over how to word a resolution intended for inclusion in their OIC communiqué, deciding in the end to drop it altogether at the request of a delegation from Iraq’s US-picked Provisional Governing
Delegates, who earlier called for an increased UN role and a set timetable for US-led forces to pull out of Iraq, settled instead for a call “to accelerate the restoration of the full sovereignty of Iraq”.
With regards financial contributions to Iraq’s reconstruction, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Mahir told reporters that it was the US responsibility to fix Iraq.
“It’s not our job to raise money. The main responsibility is the responsibility of the occupying power,” he said on the way into the meeting.
The meeting was held at a time of high emotion with an occupied Iraq, rising tensions in the Israel-Palestinian conflict as well as Israel’s 5 October strike into Syrian territory.