Islamic group, Indonesia seek to end ME violence

The chief of the world's largest Islamic grouping was in Indonesia on Monday to discuss ways to resolve spiraling violence in the Middle East, government officials said. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, was holding day-long talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other government leaders on Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, said Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda. Israel's excavation work at a sacred religious site in Jerusalem's Old City was also likely be raised, he said. Ihsanoglu's visit to Indonesia follows a pledge by Yudhoyono to work with "like-minded Muslim nations" to ease tensions in the Middle East, saying US influence in the region is too great. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation.