A string of meetings in Pakistan on Sunday for leaders of key Muslim Sunni nations are not aimed at forging an alliance against Shiite Iran, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Pakistan will host a meeting of foreign ministers from seven Muslim nations on Sunday to discuss how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and bring peace to Iraq and Afghanistan. Media reports in the Arab world suggested, however, that Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf aims to establish up a Sunni alliance to confront rising influence of Shiite Iran in the region.
"This is not designed to isolate any country," Erdogan told the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera television network Saturday. "It should not be taken from this (point of view)," he said in the interview recorded earlier Saturday in Istanbul, Turkey.
Musharraf has toured the Middle East and Asia to garner support for a Muslim initiative to stem the deepening conflicts that are destabilizing parts of the Islamic world.
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