Musharraf visits Mideast for Islamic summit

Pakistan's president left Saturday on a six-day visit to the Middle East to attend a summit of Muslim countries in Saudi Arabia and talks in Kuwait and Yemen on promoting economic cooperation. President Gen. Pervez Musharraf will attend the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference, a grouping of 57 Muslim nations, in the holy city of Mecca on December 7-8. Musharraf will stop over first in Kuwait and then Yemen before traveling on to Saudi Arabia for the OIC meeting. Musharraf said OIC leaders will consider restructuring the organization to make it more efficient. In Kuwait, Musharraf will hold talks on drawing Kuwaiti investment to his country and sending more Pakistani workers to the oil-rich nation. Around 120,000 Pakistanis are working in Kuwait and they "constitute a significant source of foreign exchanges to the country," the statement said. Musharraf's visit to Yemen is the first by a Pakistani leader in 15 years, and the two sides will hold talks on economic cooperation and "wide-ranging regional and international issues," the ministry said.