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Tempers flare at Islamic summit

Heated exchange shows Muslim nations split

Journalists watch Iraqi Vice President Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri accuse the Kuwaiti delegation of treachery.
Journalists watch Iraqi Vice President Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri accuse the Kuwaiti delegation of treachery.

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DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- Tempers flared at an emergency summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as representatives from 56 countries gathered to discuss ways to avert a U.S.-led war in Iraq.

In his opening address at Wednesday's meeting, Izzat Ibrahim, the deputy chairman of Iraq's ruling Revolutionary Council, accused the United States of trying to overtake his country with its aggressive acts.

Ibrahim also blamed Kuwait for his country's suffering, calling the neighboring Gulf state "traitors" for cooperating with the United States and Israel.

That comment prompted the Kuwaiti representative to stand up and protest, to which Ibrahim countered, "Shut up, sit down you small agent [of the U.S.], you monkey!"

Kuwaiti television promptly cut away from the heated exchange and rejoined the conference later.

Arab and Islamic countries remain sharply divided on the possibility of a war in Iraq. Many are hosting U.S. forces on their military bases while others stand firm against any military action.

Although not officially on the conference's agenda, representatives are discussing two initiatives proposed by the United Arab Emirates and Iran on the sidelines of the emergency summit.

The UAE proposal, which was also floated at Saturday's Arab League summit, calls for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to surrender power and leave Iraq under the control of the Arab League until it can be returned to the Iraqi people.

The proposal, which was generally accepted by Gulf states, was not discussed during Saturday's summit.

Iran suggested that neighboring Iraq could avert a war by holding a general referendum, supervised by the United Nations, in which Saddam would discuss and agree to a future government with Iraqi opposition parties.

-- CNN Correspondent James Martone and CNN International Assignment Editor Ayman Mohyeldin contributed to this report.


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