Vol. 4 Num 128 Thu. October 02, 2003  
Front Page

FM slams culture to link Islam with terrorism

Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan told his counterparts from OIC countries that linking terrorism to religion is causing prejudice against Islam.

The ministers met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session on Tuesday. "Bangladesh condemns terrorism in all forms and manifestations," Morshed said while stressing the need for addressing the root causes of terrorism.

The foreign minister announced Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, parliamentary affairs advisor to the prime minister, as Bangladesh candidate for OIC secretary-general.

Barrister Ziaur Rahman Khan MP, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, permanent representative to the UN, and Sadeq Khan, a member of the Bangladesh delegation to the 58th session of the UNGA, were also present.

Morshed condemned the hostile acts of Israel including the decision to expel Palestine President Yasser Arafat and said it was unfortunate that the country continued to remain intransigent. He urged the international community to comply fully with the peace process, appealing especially to the Quartet (US, EU, Russia and the UN).

The success of the OIC as a forum would depend, Morshed said, on how far it can uphold the cause of the Islamic Ummah. "We must revitalise the organisation." Earlier, Morshed had a meeting with his Moroccan counterpart at the UN.

They discussed ways and means of boosting bilateral relations. Moroccan Foreign Minister Mohamed Benaissa assured Morshed of his country's support to Bangladesh's candidature for OIC secretary-general.

Morshed also met with Julian Robert Hunte, president of the 58th session of United Nations General Assembly, at the United Nations Headquarters and discussed with him matters of mutual interest, including Bangladesh's support for streamlining the work of the General Assembly.

On Monday, Morshed met with his Iranian counterpart Dr Kamal Kharazzi. The two foreign ministers discussed a wide range of bilateral and international issues. Iraq, Palestine and future of the OIC figured prominently in the discussion.

Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury were also present at the meeting.