February 25, 2007, RFE/RL -- The foreign ministers of seven mainly Sunni Muslim nations called today for diplomatic solutions instead of force to solve Mideast problems.
In a joint statement in Islamabad, the ministers said they viewed with "deep concern" the escalation of regional tensions, especially over the Iranian nuclear issue.
The countries were Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Also attending was the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Iran, which is mainly Shi'ite, was not represented at the conference.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on February 24 that the meeting of the leaders only of Sunni Muslim countries is not aimed at forming an alliance against Iran. Media reports in the Middle East have suggested that the meeting aims to establish a Sunni alliance to curb the influence of Shi'ite Iran.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz says Mideast peace depends on a fair solution to the Palestinian problem. He spoke today to OIC head Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the respective foreign ministers. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf also took part in the meeting.
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