Malaysia Pleased With U.S Response
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:KL101-100601; AUDIO:%)
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Malaysia has been briefed on the investigation into last month’s terrorist attacks and is satisfied the United States is not out for revenge, the mostly Muslim nation’s foreign minister said Saturday.
``We are convinced the U.S. is not carrying out an act of revenge,″ Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. He said President Bush’s administration was ``moving in the right direction″ in leading the global fight against terrorism.
Syed Hamid will represent Malaysia at a meeting of foreign ministers from the 57 countries in the Organization of the Islamic Conference in the coming week in Qatar. He said he would urge the conference to support the international campaign against terrorism.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and other top Malaysian officials have condemned the Sept. 11 attacks and pledged support for an international coalition against terrorism. But like many Islamic leaders, they have stressed the campaign must not target or smear Islam.
Malaysian officials have also said they would not support military strikes against Afghanistan, fearing civilian casualties. Syed Hamid repeated that concern, saying, ``We want the U.S. and its allies to ensure that innocent lives will not be sacrificed in this war on terrorism.″
Syed Hamid said U.S. Ambassador Marie T. Huhtala briefed him in the investigation into the attacks and the links to top suspect Osama bin Laden during a meeting Thursday.
``We are convinced that the U.S. is justified in its actions to wipe out this menace,″ he said, suggesting Malaysia would not oppose pinpointed military operations against bin Laden’s organization in Afghanistan.