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'US must check nations that clash with Islam'

The United States must check the internal voices of nationalism that are promoting a clash of civilisations with Islam.

india Updated: Jun 28, 2006 09:23 IST

The United States must check the internal voices of nationalism that are promoting a "clash of civilisations" with Islam, the head of the Arab League has said.

"You have to stand firm against all negative forces with agendas," Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa told the US Arab Economic Forum in Houston, Texas on Tuesday.

"We fear it in the Middle East. Many of us read what they say and we are angry about this nationalist agenda that is gaining some ground."

While acknowledging the problem of Islamic extremists, Moussa said there is a deep misunderstanding of the US-Arab relationship among members of the American public, fuelled by inflammatory statements from politicians.

He also said there is a "political agenda" behind the promotion of the clash.

"The Arab world is the friend of America. The question of hating America is not there. We've never hated America," he said while explaining that the Arab world may disagreed with US policies but does not project that distaste upon the country as a whole.

Moussa vowed to fight extremists in the Arab world and asked US policy makers to do the same at home.

"Let us not give the negative forces on both sides any chance to continue their policies and practices and achieve any success.