The first ministerial meeting of the executive committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), concluded today in Jeddah. A joint communiqué was issued following the meeting, which focused on the publication of offensive Danish cartoons by European newspapers; the Palestinian situation; and Iraq.
On the issue of the cartoons, the communiqué expressed disappointment with the conclusions of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers, which convened February 27, because the Council did not agree on collective steps to prevent offensive material from being published in the future.
Regarding the Palestinians, the communiqué praised the recent elections, and appealed to the international community to respect the will of the Palestinians, avoid prejudging the new government, and continue supporting the Palestinian people. It also strongly condemned Israel’s March 14 attack on Jericho prison.
On Iraq, the communiqué expressed its deep concern at the deteriorating security conditions there, including attacks on mosques and other places of worship. It also appealed to Iraqis to transcend their differences and work together to form a broad-based, inclusive government.