OIC weighs suspension of Damascus
MECCA / ALEPPO
Turkish President Abdullah Gül is greeted by Saudi Prince Khaled al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, governor of Mecca, in the coastal city of Jeddah on August 13, 2012. AFP photoMuslim leaders were to mull proposals to suspend Syria from the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as clashes between rebels and army forces continue across Syria.
Foreign ministers who held a preparatory meeting on Aug. 13 recommended the suspension of Syria’s membership, the OIC chief Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu said. It will be put to heads of state at their summit in Mecca, which will continue today, for “final approval,” he added. The formal decision, which notionally requires a two-thirds majority, meaning that Iran alone will not be able to defeat the motion.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country has openly criticized the push to suspend Syria, is attending the extraordinary meeting. In Syria, fresh fighting erupted in the second city of Aleppo, monitors said. Regime forces also shelled several suburbs of Damascus, while security forces carried out a second day of raids in the capital.