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Ahmadinejad, Karzai star at Islamic summit

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for "radical change" in the world economic order at a summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Istanbul. Afghan leader Hamid Karzai is also present, but Sudan's Omar al-Bashir has opted out.


AFP - Iranian President MahmoudAhmadinejad took the centre stage at the one-day Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit in Istanbul, after Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, wanted by a UN court for war crimes, cancelled his attendance at the last moment.

"The present economic crisis is due to the capitalist system. The world needs radical change," he told participants, calling for Islamic principles to replace capitalist values.

Describing interest rates as the "biggest and most fundamental problem of the capitalist system," Ahmadinejad said economic programmes based on Islamic principles offered the way out.

"The world is looking for fairer values that we cannot find in the capitalist system. The world system based on usury has collapsed, proving its failure," he said through a translator.

"We have to draw up programmes based on Islamic economic thinkers. That way we can guide people to happiness, security, justice and honesty. This is the most correct way to salvation," he added.

Ahmadinejad urged member countries to agree to carrying out trade in their national currencies and setting up a common market.

"By announcing the type of money to be used between member countries, we will be saved from the adverse effects of global capitalism," Ahmadinejad added.

The Istanbul summit, which will focus on developing closer trade ties and addressing poverty, has drawn leaders including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad.

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