Arab Maghreb States Ask UN to Stop War
| NICOSIA, CYPRUS
FIVE North African countries agreed Tuesday to request an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council ``to put a stop to the [Gulf] war and provide a chance for a peaceful settlement.'' The decision was taken in Tripoli, Libya, at a foreign ministers meeting of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), the Libyan news agency JANA said in a report monitored here. The union is a fledgling economic and political partnership of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania.
UMA considers the Gulf conflict to be a purely Arab affair, JANA said. ``The conflict is Arab as are the victims, the battlefield, and the assets being destroyed,'' the agency said.
Iran Renews Call for Islamic Summit
Iran has denounced what it calls a United States onslaught on Iraq and says 10 Muslim states have accepted its call for an emergency Islamic conference in Tehran to put an immediate end to the war.
Iran is seeking the support of two-thirds of the 46-member Islamic Conference Organization before holding the Tehran meeting, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati said Monday.
``We opposed and still oppose the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and believe that the unfortunate war which is laying waste the resources and potential of the Muslim people of Iraq, should be immediately stopped,'' he said.
The Iranian News Agency IRNA quoted Mr. Velayati as saying the US, which is leading Western and Arab coalition forces in a war to force Iraq out of Kuwait, wanted to dominate the oil-rich Gulf region.
Moroccans Call for Withdrawal
Opposition parties in Morocco have demanded that the government withdraw the 1,500 soldiers it contributed to the US-led forces and switch its support to Iraq.
Mohamed Khalifa, spokesman for the conservative Istiqlal Party, told Parliament the coalition was fighting ``not to defend the Arabs ... but to carry out a Zionist plan aimed at destroying Iraq's economic and military potential.''
At a special session of Parliament, convened Tuesday night by King Hassan II to debate the war, all eight opposition parties called for a halt to the hostilities.
Hundreds of police and antiriot squads ringed Parliament, which adjourned for the night without a vote.
Mohamed el-Yazghi, spokesman for the Socialist Union of People's Forces, said the Moroccan contingent's mission was ``purely defensive.''
``Now that we have entered the Desert Storm phase aimed at destroying Iraq's economic and military potential, the presence of these forces is no longer justified,'' he said.