Tuesday, January 25, 2011

30 years ago: Muslim nations call for the expulsion of Israel from "occupied territories"

File under "the more things change, the more they remain the same:"

On January 25, 1981 at Taif, Saudi Arabia, leaders of 37 Muslim nations and the Palestine Liberation Organization convened for the beginning of a five-day conference. Missing was the five-member Iranian delegation, which had been instructed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to boycott the meeting because Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would be there. Libya also boycotted the meeting to protest the presence of U.S. surveillance planes based in Saudi Arabia. Afghanistan was barred because its government was attempting to suppress Muslim rebels, and Egypt was barred because of its peace treaty with Israel.

In an opening speech read by Crown Prince Fahd, King Khalid of Saudi Arabia urged the group to drive Israel out of the Arab territories it had occupied since 1967, and to secure the rights of the Palestinians.

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