ASIA/IRAQ - In Iraq Islamic troops under the aegis of the United Nations to stabilise the country: Islamic Conference Organisation’s proposal meets consensus

Saturday, 24 April 2004

Putrajaya (Fides Service) - A role for the United Nations to stabilise Iraq, and the presence of troops from Muslim countries: this proposal emerged from a recent meeting in Malaysia of 57 delegates of the Islamic Conference Organisation. The Organisation asked the United Nations to adopt a resolution to restore peace in Iraq, with the support of the international community .
Observers say the proposal met with consensus in Iraqi Muslim circles, and could be a solution for the present situation of chaos and instability in the country.
The proposal has also been welcomed by other religious communities in Iraq. Rev. Nizar Semaan told Fides that the proposal to “to involve the international community through the United Nations could help to stabilise the situation. It should be noted that today terrorism aims to plunge Iraq into chaos: a military presence to assure order and growth on the way to human rights and democracy would appear to be indispensable at this point. The presence of the United Nations with the aid of military contingents from Muslim countries would be important also because to would be seen differently and more favourably by the Iraqi people. One path could be to involve Iraqi personnel more in measures to enforce law and order. They are familiar with the territory and the people with whom they have a more direct and potentially peaceful relationship”.
The important novelty of a new UN mandate, according to the Islamic Conference Organisation, should be to provide the presence of troops from Muslim countries to guarantee order and security in the country. Important Muslim majority countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia have already said they are willing to send a military contingent to Iraq, if the UN decides to return to Baghdad.
At the Conference meeting, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi warned that the situation in Iraq and Palestine is a threat for the entire Middle East region. Several delegates stressed the need for unity and cohesion among Muslim nations approving motions on Israel and Palestine, and Iraq.
The declaration issued at the end of the meeting affirms that the Organisation “recognises and underlines the importance of the United Nation’s role in restoring peace security and stability in Iraq” and it asks the UN security council to adopt a resolution to reach these objectives. The document asks the Coalition to respect the date of June 30 for transferring sovereignty to an Iraqi government. “Stability in Iraq - the document affirms - can only be guaranteed by allowing the Iraqi people to express its legitimate rights including the right to hold free elections”.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 24/4/2004 lines 56 words 643)