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Opening Session of Al Quds International Forum

 Thursday 15 November 2007, 12:52 PM

Al Quds International Forum, which launched in Istanbul this morning, conveyed the holiness of Al Quds and the importance of unifying the Arab, Muslim and global communities to end the occupation and Judaization of the city.
Delegations from 65 different countries filled the conference hall and interacted with the speeches during the 2-hour opening session.

Many speakers signified the international significance of Al Quds. "Al Quds is not just a struggle of Palestinians or Arabs but it is a struggle for the whole of humanity," said the Necati Ceylan, the President of the Foundation of Volunteer Organizations of Turkey (TGTV), one of the three hosting organizations of the Forum.

Speakers also focused their speeches on the situation in Al Quds and Palestine under occupation. Selim El Hoss, Former Lebanese President, said that the Jews want to control the city of Al Quds, threatening its Arab and Muslim identity and putting its sacred sites at stake.

 An important point conveyed in the opening session was the vitality of putting words into action. Galloway pointed out that what is important is not what we say, but what we are going to do about it.

 When speaking of action, the speakers disregarded a potential for success through negotiations which will take place with Annapolis peace conference in United States.

"Why are Arab governors in cooperation with terrorists? How can you have normalization with someone who is occupying your lands, stealing your home," said Galloway.

"The issue of Palestine will be lost by dividing the Muslims into scattered groups…we should learn from history," said Ali Akbar Mohteshymy of Iranian delegation. He then emphasized that Annapolis, will not bring a fair solution to the Palestinians and will only humiliate the Arabs.

Raid Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 Palestine sent out a strong message to the Muslim world saying, "We should be embarrassed wit every minute that passes that we failed to protect Al Quds." He added that the honor and dignity of the Arabs and Muslims is only possible if only Al Quds is saved from occupation.

 Salah then called upon the audience to join him in a minute of silence to reflect the anger against the occupation.
Instead the speakers along with the crowd united upon a different means to reach a solution to the Palestinian situation.

"What was taken by force, can only be returned by force," said Aziz Sedky, former Egyptian Prime Minister, while the participants reiterated his words with enthusiasm.

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