In Morocco the tenth Islamic Foreign Minsters conference opened in the town of Fez on Tuesday (8 May) amid angry accusations from Egypt that it had been wrongfully excluded from the meeting.
SCU king Hassan of Morocco speaking
SV PAN Delegates listening
SV PAN Empty chair, Guinea Bissau delegate and other delegates, then empty chair of Egyptian delegate
SV king Hassan continues speech
GV ZOOM OUT Delegates on balcony listen to king Hassan speaking
The Middle East situation following the Israel-Egypt peace treaty is expected to be the main topic of the conference. A committee made up of representatives of Tunisia, the Palestine Liberation organisation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Bangladesh has drawn up recommendations on the Middle East, including the future of Jerusalem and the Palestinians.
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Background: In Morocco the tenth Islamic Foreign Minsters conference opened in the town of Fez on Tuesday (8 May) amid angry accusations from Egypt that it had been wrongfully excluded from the meeting. Officials said a special envoy had been sent to Cairo at the weekend to tell the Egyptians that a motion calling for Egypt's suspension would be presented to the five-day meeting. In response Egypt condemned the bid to bar it from the conference and in a Foreign Ministry statement said that the decision could only "weaken the Islamic gathering and sabotage the united Islamic path."
SYNOPSIS: king Hassan of Morocco spoke at the opening session and called on the world's one billion Moslems to unite in support of the Palestinians.
The king said that unity would speed up the liberation of Jerusalem from Israel--"the most effective thing this conference could do is draw up a clear, brief and profound proposal on Palestine"--he said, but added that extreme demands must be avoided. His theme was "A minimum-acceptable to all" and warned that the conference delegates were certain to encounter difficulties during their discussions.
Egypt was among the forty-three member states of the conference officially invited to attend the Fez discussions, but as the meeting opened the chairs allocated for the Egyptian delegates were empty. The proposal for Egypt to be suspended was tabled by delegates from the Libyan Jamahiriyah. Another Libyan proposal is for discussion of the situation in Uganda.
In his speech king Hassan laid great emphasis on his call for Moslem unity, saying that people of the Islamic faith from all over the world must unite to make their full weight felt on the Palestine issue.
Iran was also not represented at the conference but sources said a delegation was still expected, led by a former Iranian Ambassador to Morocco. Relations between Iran and Morocco have been cool since king Hassan played host to the ousted Shah.