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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 5 March, 2003, 15:36 GMT
Insults traded at Islamic summit
Iraqi Vice-President Izzat Ibrahim
Izzat Ibrahim was angered by an interruption
A meeting of Islamic nations on the Iraq crisis has ended with an agreement but was marred by a slanging match between Iraq and Kuwait.

The Iraqi and Kuwaiti delegates started trading insults, including calling each other "dog" and "monkey", when a Kuwaiti representative interrupted a speech shortly after the summit had opened.

Despite the division the row caused, the participants did finally come together to produce a joint statement voicing a "total rejection" of a possible US-led attack on Iraq.

The meeting of heads of state and representatives from 57 members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was the first attempt by the Islamic world as a whole to find a common voice on the Iraq crisis.

Dogs and monkeys

The row began when the Kuwaiti official interrupted a speech by Izzat Ibrahim, the second-in-command of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council, with the words "shut up you dog".

Mr Ibrahim, who had been delivering a speech critical of Kuwait and the US, responded by calling the Kuwaiti representative a "monkey" and a "traitor".

"Shut up you minion, you [US] agent, you monkey. You are addressing Iraq," said Izzat Ibrahim, the second-in-command of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council.

Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah tried to fight back but his comments could not be heard over the fray, correspondents said.

Qatar¿s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani silences the row
Amazed delegates paused to watch the exchange

Another Kuwaiti minister then jumped up and waved a small Kuwaiti flag which had been on the desk.

The angry exchange was halted when the summit chairman, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin-Khalifah al-Thani said the discussion was not relevant to the meeting and moved on to the next speaker.

'Total rejection'

The aim of the summit was to present a unified front from the Muslim world calling for war to be averted.

The summit was staged at a five-star hotel in Doha just a short distance from a vast American military base from where the US would control an invasion of Iraq.

In a joint statement the OIC leaders declared "their total rejection of any strike on Iraq and any threat to the security of any Islamic state".

And they urged all Islamic states to "refrain from taking part in any military action targeting the security and territorial integrity of Iraq or any Muslim nation".

The BBC's James Reynolds
"The old hatreds took just minutes to come out"

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