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Israel responsible for massacre of civilians: Pak

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said Israel's three-week offensive against the Hezbollah militia has infuriated Muslims across the world.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2006 11:52 IST

Pakistan on Thursday described the killing of civilians in Israel's offensive in Lebanon as a 'massacre' that could provoke a clash of civilisations.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said Israel's three-week offensive against the Hezbollah militia, which Lebanon says has left over 800 civilians dead, had infuriated Muslims across the world.

"We do not want a clash of civilisations but all over the Muslim world a very negative feeling is arising on the street," he told reporters at a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Kuala Lumpur.

"This is a massacre and this massacre must end," he said.

Malaysia, which chairs the 57-nation OIC, is hosting nearly 20 nations at special crisis talks on Thursday to demand an end to Israel's military offensives in Lebanon and Gaza.

Malaysia has said the meeting will call for an immediate ceasefire and discuss a formal United Nations peacekeeping force for Lebanon and properly coordinated humanitarian assistance.

Kasuri said the OIC should seek a diplomatic solution to end the violence and provide aid to the Lebanese people.

"I think the purpose of the OIC is to first focus on the tragedy in Lebanon and Palestine area and further helping in the humanitarian effort," he said.

Kasuri said key to peace in the region was the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"We wish to focus on the real cause and that is the reason that a viable Palestinian state has not come into being," he said.

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