Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) suspends Syria

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation suspended Syria’s membership early on Thursday at a summit of Muslim leaders in Mecca, citing President Bashar al-Assad’s violent suppression of the Syrian revolt.

“The conference decides to suspend the Syrian Arab Republic membership in the OIC and all its subsidiary organs, specialised and affiliated institutions,” the closing statement said.

The move had been approved on Monday at a preliminary meeting of OIC foreign ministers and was agreed on the summit’s second night despite opposition from Iran.

Saudi Arabia, the summit’s host, has led Arab efforts to isolate Syria diplomatically and has backed calls for the Syrian rebel opposition to be armed, which Foreign Minister Saud al-Fasial described in February as “an excellent idea.”

However, speaking to reporters after the summit, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said he “did not see much support for external military intervention” in Syria during the summit.

He described the decision to suspend Syrian membership as “a message to the international community … that the Islamic community stands with a politically peaceful solution and does not want any more bloodshed.”

The summit, which has taken place late on consecutive nights because of the Ramadan fast, had been billed as a diplomatic showdown between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran, which have backed different sides in sectarian conflicts in the Middle East.

However, Saudi King Abdullah tried to conciliate Iran at the summit opening by placing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at his side to welcome Muslim leaders in a gesture Saudi political analysts said was aimed at putting old grievances aside in the quest for a resolution to the Syrian crisis.

He also suggested founding a centre for dialogue between Islam’s sects, another move aimed at defusing some of the region’s sectarian tensions. That proposal was adopted by the summit.

In his first published comments since the summit opened, Ahmadinejad appeared to rebuff the Saudi move.

On Iran’s Mehr news agency on Wednesday he said countries which wanted the Syrian crisis solved must come up with a plan of action to do so.

“But unfortunately some of our brothers and friends have not acted well in this area and instead of inviting the conflicting parties for talks and understanding, they are busy sending weapons into the country and encouraging slaughter,” he added.

Syria and Iran have accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming the rebels.

Reuters

  • 5thDrawer

    Sorry Mahmoud Ahmadinejinihdad. Can’t make them all vote for you all the time. 😉

    • dateam

      yeh but seriously what are we talking about here? they all have to go….i mean saudia arabia,qatar,jordan,bahrain, are they democracies? if all this is supposed to be a proper arab spring they all have to go….do as i say not as i do seems to be the way it is???????????? 

  • 5thDrawer

    Sorry Mahmoud Ahmadinejinihdad. Can’t make them all vote for you all the time. 😉

    • dateam

      yeh but seriously what are we talking about here? they all have to go….i mean saudia arabia,qatar,jordan,bahrain, are they democracies? if all this is supposed to be a proper arab spring they all have to go….do as i say not as i do seems to be the way it is???????????? 

  • 5thDrawer

    Sorry Mahmoud Ahmadinejinihdad. Can’t make them all vote for you all the time. 😉

    • dateam

      yeh but seriously what are we talking about here? they all have to go….i mean saudia arabia,qatar,jordan,bahrain, are they democracies? if all this is supposed to be a proper arab spring they all have to go….do as i say not as i do seems to be the way it is???????????? 

  • jim

      for as long as these BRITISH PUPPET MERCENARIES called MULLAHS are 
    interfering
    in the internal affairs of the great countries of Lebanon and Syria,
    the good people of these two countries will never see the daylight .
    these pieces of human excrement
    have a finger in every pie . their
    mission is to completely destroy Lebanon and Syria from within . that’s
    what a mercenary does .that’s his mission .
    it is incumbent upon the Lebanese/Syrian masses to get rid of the remnants of
    mullahs puppets in Lebanon /Syria,

  • jim

      for as long as these BRITISH PUPPET MERCENARIES called MULLAHS are 
    interfering
    in the internal affairs of the great countries of Lebanon and Syria,
    the good people of these two countries will never see the daylight .
    these pieces of human excrement
    have a finger in every pie . their
    mission is to completely destroy Lebanon and Syria from within . that’s
    what a mercenary does .that’s his mission .
    it is incumbent upon the Lebanese/Syrian masses to get rid of the remnants of
    mullahs puppets in Lebanon /Syria,

  • Moe2000

    Gulf News article

    The Middle East is facing an acute danger of war, with unpredictable
    and potentially devastating consequences for countries and populations
    of the region. A ‘shadow war’ is already being waged — by Israel and the
    US — against Iran; by a coalition of countries against Syria; and by
    the great powers against each other. A mere spark could set this tinder
    alight.

    The threat of a hot war is coming from three main directions: first,
    from Israel’s relentless and increasingly hysterical war-mongering
    against Iran; second, from America’s geopolitical ambitions in the
    oil-rich Gulf and its complicity in Israel’s anti-Iranian campaign; and
    third, from the hostility of some Sunni states towards Iran — and
    towards Shiites and Alawites in general.

    These Arab states are apparently unaware that they are playing into the
    hands of Israeli and American hawks who dream of re-modelling the
    region in order to subject it to their will. This same neo-con ambition
    drove the US to invade and destroy Iraq in the hope of permanently
    enfeebling it.

    The current Israeli war fever rests on a blatant falsehood: that Iran
    poses an ‘existential threat’ to the Jewish people. What a joke! The
    only threat Iran poses is this: were it to develop the means and skills
    to build an atomic weapon — without actually doing so — it would thereby
    acquire a limited deterrent capability. That is to say, Israel might
    hesitate to attack it. Israel’s freedom to attack its other neighbours
    would also be restricted — a freedom it has enjoyed for decades, as may
    be seen from its numerous wars and assaults on the Palestinians, Iraq,
    Lebanon and Syria.

    Article continues below

    Israel wants unfettered military supremacy. This is what the fuss is
    all about. It wants the freedom to hit Iran and any other country that
    dares raise its head, without the risk of being hit back. It does not
    want any Middle East state or movement to be able to protect itself —
    hence its bitter animus against resistance movements such as Hezbollah
    and Hamas, which have survived Israeli attempts to destroy them, and
    refuse to be cowed.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud
    Barak are evidently itching to bring down the regime in Tehran — and
    indeed the whole so-called ‘resistance axis’ of Iran, Syria and
    Hezbollah, which in recent years has been the only credible barrier to
    Israeli and American ambitions. But the Arabs should reflect that the
    destruction of this barrier will mean abandoning the Palestinians to
    their tragic fate and exposing the Gulf states to future Israeli and
    American pressures and possible assaults.

    Israel would, of course, prefer the US to bring down the Iranian regime
    by itself — much as it brought down Saddam Hussain’s regime in Iraq.
    Netanyahu may be tempted to strike first, but only if he is sure that
    President Barack Obama will join in the attack or be compelled to do so,
    because of his alleged need to win Jewish votes in November’s
    presidential elections. Obama desperately wants to avoid being dragged
    into another war. To head off an Israeli attack, he has, in the words of
    his spokesman, imposed on Iran “the most stringent sanctions ever
    imposed on any country”.

    A solution to the crisis lies in the hands of the two major regional
    powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Although they are often seen as rivals,
    they could also be partners, since they share a strong interest in the
    peace and security of the Gulf. There are small but promising signs that
    they are reaching out to each other.

    It is striking that the recent preparatory meeting in Tehran for the
    Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, due later this month, reached much
    the same conclusions regarding the civil war in Syria as last week’s
    gathering in Riyadh of members of the Organisation of the Islamic
    Conference (OIC). Participants at both meetings stressed the need for a
    ceasefire to stop the bloodshed, followed by political negotiations and
    the formation of a national unity government. A hopeful sign was the
    presence of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the OIC summit in
    Riyadh.

    Disastrous as it is, the Syrian civil war is only a sub-plot in a far
    wider contest. Whether President Bashar Al Assad remains temporarily at
    the head of the regime, or is persuaded to quit, is far from being the
    main issue. Those pressing for war do not care about who rules in
    Damascus. They simply want Syria enfeebled, preferably dismembered, and
    its allies crippled.

    Issues of profound importance for the Arabs are at stake in this
    ferocious test of wills. Will the existing pattern of Arab nation states
    survive the crisis or will it fracture? Can Sunnis and Shiites learn to
    live together in harmony under the banner of Islam or are they doomed
    to fight each other for another thousand years? Can the security of
    ethnic and religious minorities, which have contributed for centuries to
    the rich diversity of the region, be guaranteed? And what will be the
    outcome for Arab independence itself?

    We are witnessing today the latest phase of the struggle for Arab
    independence. It began a century ago when the Arabs sought to throw off
    Ottoman rule. But when the Ottoman Empire collapsed in the First World
    War, the Arabs fell instead under the control of Britain and France who
    divided the Arab world between them. And when these colonial powers were
    finally forced out, the Arabs were confronted by the even deadlier
    threat of an aggressive and expansionist Israel.

    American influence over the region has long been predominant,
    especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union a generation ago.
    Today, as the US wrestles with economic problems and the legacy of
    catastrophic wars, it is also being challenged by new emergent powers. A
    further handicap for the US is that it has allowed Israel to dictate
    its Middle East policy. The Arabs should reflect that a regional war,
    driven by Israel, risks robbing them of the little real independence
    they have so far managed to secure.

    Can war be prevented? King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia is
    one of the wisest leaders on the international stage. He alone has the
    political weight, the resources, and the influence with both the US and
    the rebels in Syria to check the region’s downward rush to disaster. He
    seems torn between his understandable distaste for some Iranian policies
    and his instinctive understanding of the need for better Saudi-Iranian
    relations. Several Gulf officials, in turn, are torn between their fear
    of a powerful Iran and their understanding that members of the Gulf
    Cooperation Council share many commercial and strategic interests with
    the Islamic Republic.

    Instead of siding with the US and Israel in the destruction of Iran and
    Syria, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies should join with Iran in
    building a new security system for the region free from external
    meddling. If they act together, they can spare the region the
    devastation of war. But they must act soon because time is running out.

     

    Patrick Seale is a commentator and author of several books on Middle
    East affairs, Al Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East and
    Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire.

     

  • Moe2000

    Gulf News article

    The Middle East is facing an acute danger of war, with unpredictable
    and potentially devastating consequences for countries and populations
    of the region. A ‘shadow war’ is already being waged — by Israel and the
    US — against Iran; by a coalition of countries against Syria; and by
    the great powers against each other. A mere spark could set this tinder
    alight.

    The threat of a hot war is coming from three main directions: first,
    from Israel’s relentless and increasingly hysterical war-mongering
    against Iran; second, from America’s geopolitical ambitions in the
    oil-rich Gulf and its complicity in Israel’s anti-Iranian campaign; and
    third, from the hostility of some Sunni states towards Iran — and
    towards Shiites and Alawites in general.

    These Arab states are apparently unaware that they are playing into the
    hands of Israeli and American hawks who dream of re-modelling the
    region in order to subject it to their will. This same neo-con ambition
    drove the US to invade and destroy Iraq in the hope of permanently
    enfeebling it.

    The current Israeli war fever rests on a blatant falsehood: that Iran
    poses an ‘existential threat’ to the Jewish people. What a joke! The
    only threat Iran poses is this: were it to develop the means and skills
    to build an atomic weapon — without actually doing so — it would thereby
    acquire a limited deterrent capability. That is to say, Israel might
    hesitate to attack it. Israel’s freedom to attack its other neighbours
    would also be restricted — a freedom it has enjoyed for decades, as may
    be seen from its numerous wars and assaults on the Palestinians, Iraq,
    Lebanon and Syria.

    Article continues below

    Israel wants unfettered military supremacy. This is what the fuss is
    all about. It wants the freedom to hit Iran and any other country that
    dares raise its head, without the risk of being hit back. It does not
    want any Middle East state or movement to be able to protect itself —
    hence its bitter animus against resistance movements such as Hezbollah
    and Hamas, which have survived Israeli attempts to destroy them, and
    refuse to be cowed.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud
    Barak are evidently itching to bring down the regime in Tehran — and
    indeed the whole so-called ‘resistance axis’ of Iran, Syria and
    Hezbollah, which in recent years has been the only credible barrier to
    Israeli and American ambitions. But the Arabs should reflect that the
    destruction of this barrier will mean abandoning the Palestinians to
    their tragic fate and exposing the Gulf states to future Israeli and
    American pressures and possible assaults.

    Israel would, of course, prefer the US to bring down the Iranian regime
    by itself — much as it brought down Saddam Hussain’s regime in Iraq.
    Netanyahu may be tempted to strike first, but only if he is sure that
    President Barack Obama will join in the attack or be compelled to do so,
    because of his alleged need to win Jewish votes in November’s
    presidential elections. Obama desperately wants to avoid being dragged
    into another war. To head off an Israeli attack, he has, in the words of
    his spokesman, imposed on Iran “the most stringent sanctions ever
    imposed on any country”.

    A solution to the crisis lies in the hands of the two major regional
    powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Although they are often seen as rivals,
    they could also be partners, since they share a strong interest in the
    peace and security of the Gulf. There are small but promising signs that
    they are reaching out to each other.

    It is striking that the recent preparatory meeting in Tehran for the
    Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, due later this month, reached much
    the same conclusions regarding the civil war in Syria as last week’s
    gathering in Riyadh of members of the Organisation of the Islamic
    Conference (OIC). Participants at both meetings stressed the need for a
    ceasefire to stop the bloodshed, followed by political negotiations and
    the formation of a national unity government. A hopeful sign was the
    presence of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the OIC summit in
    Riyadh.

    Disastrous as it is, the Syrian civil war is only a sub-plot in a far
    wider contest. Whether President Bashar Al Assad remains temporarily at
    the head of the regime, or is persuaded to quit, is far from being the
    main issue. Those pressing for war do not care about who rules in
    Damascus. They simply want Syria enfeebled, preferably dismembered, and
    its allies crippled.

    Issues of profound importance for the Arabs are at stake in this
    ferocious test of wills. Will the existing pattern of Arab nation states
    survive the crisis or will it fracture? Can Sunnis and Shiites learn to
    live together in harmony under the banner of Islam or are they doomed
    to fight each other for another thousand years? Can the security of
    ethnic and religious minorities, which have contributed for centuries to
    the rich diversity of the region, be guaranteed? And what will be the
    outcome for Arab independence itself?

    We are witnessing today the latest phase of the struggle for Arab
    independence. It began a century ago when the Arabs sought to throw off
    Ottoman rule. But when the Ottoman Empire collapsed in the First World
    War, the Arabs fell instead under the control of Britain and France who
    divided the Arab world between them. And when these colonial powers were
    finally forced out, the Arabs were confronted by the even deadlier
    threat of an aggressive and expansionist Israel.

    American influence over the region has long been predominant,
    especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union a generation ago.
    Today, as the US wrestles with economic problems and the legacy of
    catastrophic wars, it is also being challenged by new emergent powers. A
    further handicap for the US is that it has allowed Israel to dictate
    its Middle East policy. The Arabs should reflect that a regional war,
    driven by Israel, risks robbing them of the little real independence
    they have so far managed to secure.

    Can war be prevented? King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia is
    one of the wisest leaders on the international stage. He alone has the
    political weight, the resources, and the influence with both the US and
    the rebels in Syria to check the region’s downward rush to disaster. He
    seems torn between his understandable distaste for some Iranian policies
    and his instinctive understanding of the need for better Saudi-Iranian
    relations. Several Gulf officials, in turn, are torn between their fear
    of a powerful Iran and their understanding that members of the Gulf
    Cooperation Council share many commercial and strategic interests with
    the Islamic Republic.

    Instead of siding with the US and Israel in the destruction of Iran and
    Syria, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies should join with Iran in
    building a new security system for the region free from external
    meddling. If they act together, they can spare the region the
    devastation of war. But they must act soon because time is running out.

     

    Patrick Seale is a commentator and author of several books on Middle
    East affairs, Al Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East and
    Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire.

     

  • Moe2000

    Gulf News article

    The Middle East is facing an acute danger of war, with unpredictable
    and potentially devastating consequences for countries and populations
    of the region. A ‘shadow war’ is already being waged — by Israel and the
    US — against Iran; by a coalition of countries against Syria; and by
    the great powers against each other. A mere spark could set this tinder
    alight.

    The threat of a hot war is coming from three main directions: first,
    from Israel’s relentless and increasingly hysterical war-mongering
    against Iran; second, from America’s geopolitical ambitions in the
    oil-rich Gulf and its complicity in Israel’s anti-Iranian campaign; and
    third, from the hostility of some Sunni states towards Iran — and
    towards Shiites and Alawites in general.

    These Arab states are apparently unaware that they are playing into the
    hands of Israeli and American hawks who dream of re-modelling the
    region in order to subject it to their will. This same neo-con ambition
    drove the US to invade and destroy Iraq in the hope of permanently
    enfeebling it.

    The current Israeli war fever rests on a blatant falsehood: that Iran
    poses an ‘existential threat’ to the Jewish people. What a joke! The
    only threat Iran poses is this: were it to develop the means and skills
    to build an atomic weapon — without actually doing so — it would thereby
    acquire a limited deterrent capability. That is to say, Israel might
    hesitate to attack it. Israel’s freedom to attack its other neighbours
    would also be restricted — a freedom it has enjoyed for decades, as may
    be seen from its numerous wars and assaults on the Palestinians, Iraq,
    Lebanon and Syria.

    Article continues below

    Israel wants unfettered military supremacy. This is what the fuss is
    all about. It wants the freedom to hit Iran and any other country that
    dares raise its head, without the risk of being hit back. It does not
    want any Middle East state or movement to be able to protect itself —
    hence its bitter animus against resistance movements such as Hezbollah
    and Hamas, which have survived Israeli attempts to destroy them, and
    refuse to be cowed.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud
    Barak are evidently itching to bring down the regime in Tehran — and
    indeed the whole so-called ‘resistance axis’ of Iran, Syria and
    Hezbollah, which in recent years has been the only credible barrier to
    Israeli and American ambitions. But the Arabs should reflect that the
    destruction of this barrier will mean abandoning the Palestinians to
    their tragic fate and exposing the Gulf states to future Israeli and
    American pressures and possible assaults.

    Israel would, of course, prefer the US to bring down the Iranian regime
    by itself — much as it brought down Saddam Hussain’s regime in Iraq.
    Netanyahu may be tempted to strike first, but only if he is sure that
    President Barack Obama will join in the attack or be compelled to do so,
    because of his alleged need to win Jewish votes in November’s
    presidential elections. Obama desperately wants to avoid being dragged
    into another war. To head off an Israeli attack, he has, in the words of
    his spokesman, imposed on Iran “the most stringent sanctions ever
    imposed on any country”.

    A solution to the crisis lies in the hands of the two major regional
    powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Although they are often seen as rivals,
    they could also be partners, since they share a strong interest in the
    peace and security of the Gulf. There are small but promising signs that
    they are reaching out to each other.

    It is striking that the recent preparatory meeting in Tehran for the
    Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, due later this month, reached much
    the same conclusions regarding the civil war in Syria as last week’s
    gathering in Riyadh of members of the Organisation of the Islamic
    Conference (OIC). Participants at both meetings stressed the need for a
    ceasefire to stop the bloodshed, followed by political negotiations and
    the formation of a national unity government. A hopeful sign was the
    presence of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the OIC summit in
    Riyadh.

    Disastrous as it is, the Syrian civil war is only a sub-plot in a far
    wider contest. Whether President Bashar Al Assad remains temporarily at
    the head of the regime, or is persuaded to quit, is far from being the
    main issue. Those pressing for war do not care about who rules in
    Damascus. They simply want Syria enfeebled, preferably dismembered, and
    its allies crippled.

    Issues of profound importance for the Arabs are at stake in this
    ferocious test of wills. Will the existing pattern of Arab nation states
    survive the crisis or will it fracture? Can Sunnis and Shiites learn to
    live together in harmony under the banner of Islam or are they doomed
    to fight each other for another thousand years? Can the security of
    ethnic and religious minorities, which have contributed for centuries to
    the rich diversity of the region, be guaranteed? And what will be the
    outcome for Arab independence itself?

    We are witnessing today the latest phase of the struggle for Arab
    independence. It began a century ago when the Arabs sought to throw off
    Ottoman rule. But when the Ottoman Empire collapsed in the First World
    War, the Arabs fell instead under the control of Britain and France who
    divided the Arab world between them. And when these colonial powers were
    finally forced out, the Arabs were confronted by the even deadlier
    threat of an aggressive and expansionist Israel.

    American influence over the region has long been predominant,
    especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union a generation ago.
    Today, as the US wrestles with economic problems and the legacy of
    catastrophic wars, it is also being challenged by new emergent powers. A
    further handicap for the US is that it has allowed Israel to dictate
    its Middle East policy. The Arabs should reflect that a regional war,
    driven by Israel, risks robbing them of the little real independence
    they have so far managed to secure.

    Can war be prevented? King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia is
    one of the wisest leaders on the international stage. He alone has the
    political weight, the resources, and the influence with both the US and
    the rebels in Syria to check the region’s downward rush to disaster. He
    seems torn between his understandable distaste for some Iranian policies
    and his instinctive understanding of the need for better Saudi-Iranian
    relations. Several Gulf officials, in turn, are torn between their fear
    of a powerful Iran and their understanding that members of the Gulf
    Cooperation Council share many commercial and strategic interests with
    the Islamic Republic.

    Instead of siding with the US and Israel in the destruction of Iran and
    Syria, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies should join with Iran in
    building a new security system for the region free from external
    meddling. If they act together, they can spare the region the
    devastation of war. But they must act soon because time is running out.

     

    Patrick Seale is a commentator and author of several books on Middle
    East affairs, Al Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East and
    Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire.