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. Pakistan and Islamic group back EU approach to Iran nuclear row
ISLAMABAD (AFP) Feb 02, 2005
Pakistan and the largest grouping of Muslim countries on Wednesday supported the European Union's efforts for a peaceful solution to a nuclear row between Iran and the United States.

"We don't need any other intervention in the Muslim world," Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told a joint news conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri.

"We support the approach of the G-3 (Britain, France and Germany) and welcome the cooperation between Iran and the EU," he said, adding that his 57-member group would "always prefer an amicable solution for such problems."

The United States accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons. Tehran has vehemently denied the charges, arguing that its atomic activities are solely for peaceful purposes.

Last month US President George W. Bush said he could not rule out using force if Tehran failed to rein in its nuclear plans, and US Vice President Dick Cheney said Iran was "right at the top of the list" of global troublespots.

Kasuri said Pakistan supported the EU's approach "which is aimed at a solution which is peaceful, which takes into consideration Iranian sensitivities."

Last November the US Central Intelligence Agency reported to Congress that disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's network had helped Iran with its nuclear program.

Kasuri said any US action against Iran would cause more unwanted tensions on Pakistan's western borders, following years of conflict in neighbouring Afghanistan.

"Pakistan has already paid a very high price for destabilisation that has resulted from the situation in Afghanistan," Kasuri said.

Ihsanoglu later met President Pervez Musharraf and held talks on the proposed reforms to the OIC, the foreign ministry said.

Musharraf asked Muslim states to strengthen the organisation by increasing their financial support.

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