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OIC Welcomes Iraqi Governing Council, Condemns Mass Killing by Saddam Regime - 2003-10-01


The Organization of Islamic Conference has welcomed the formation of an Iraqi Governing Council and called for members of Saddam Hussein's regime to be brought to justice.

Foreign ministers of the 57-nation OIC issued a communique calling the establishment of a representative Iraq Governing Council an important step in restoring full Iraqi sovereignty. The ministers made no mention of any timetable for the return of sovereignty, but stressed the need for a central United Nations role in the process.

Officials of the U.S. appointed Governing Council represented Iraq at the New York meeting. The head of the OIC Observer Mission at the United Nations, Mokhtar Lamani, said Iraq's membership in the group has never been in question.

"They were not suspended, Iraq, from the Council itself," he emphasized. "There was no decision of suspending Iraq from the OIC. They were members all the time."

The OIC communique also condemned the mass killings that took place during Saddam Hussein's rule. Ambassador Lamani said the group demanded that officials of Saddam's regime be brought to justice.

"The meeting condemned with deep sorrow and sadness the mass killings as evidenced by the discovery of mass graves, and the same concerning especially Iraqi, Iranian and other nationals, and also the Kuwaiti POWs, and it ended that the meeting called for bringing to justice the officers of the former Iraqi regime who committed such crimes," said Mr. Lamani.

The communique also expressed strong condemnation of the bomb attacks against the Jordanian Embassy and the headquarters of the United Nations in Baghdad, as well as the attack against the holy Muslim shrine in Najaf.

Ambassador Lamani said he expects a senior official of the Iraqi Governing Council to represent Iraq at the Islamic Conference summit later this month in Kuala Lumpur.

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