Turkey calls on the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine as Islamic Summit kicks off


Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 13 December 2017| 24 Rabi ul Awal 1439

Turkey appealed on Wednesday to the world to recognise East Jerusalem as a capital of Palestine, at an Islamic summit called in response to the US decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital.

“The first Palestinian state must be recognised by all the other countries,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

“We must encourage other countries to recognise the Palestinian state on the basis of its 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu was speaking in Istanbul at the opening of an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), called by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In calling the summit, Turkey is seeking to marshal a coordinated response by Muslim leaders to the US move.

These are the key points from Cavusoglu’s opening statement:

  • The OIC must encourage other countries to recognise the Palestinian state on the basis of its 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital
  • The Palestinian state must be recognised by all other countries.
  • The step taken by the US legitimises the illegal occupation
  • The decision of the US is null and void

Agenda of the OIC summit

Muslim leaders will discuss “the move in a unified and coordinated manner in the face of these developments affecting the occupied city of Al Quds [Jerusalem] and its historical, legal and political status,” according to the official website of the organisation.

Anger at Trump’s move on Jerusalem

The US president’s recognition last week of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital prompted anger across the political spectrum, and especially in the Muslim and Arab world, where tens of thousands of people took to the streets to denounce Israel and show solidarity with Palestine.

The OIC has condemned Trump’s decision several times, saying “the decision does not only threaten the Arab and Islamic identity of Al Quds, but also the Christian identity of the city, stressing Muslims’ eternal attachment to Al Aqsa Mosque and the centrality of the cause of Al Quds to the Ummah [all Muslims in the world].”

During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

OIC summit attendees

High-ranking officials from 48 countries, 18 of which have sent presidents and prime ministers, are attending the summit.

The presidents from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Palestine, Guinea, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, Togo, Jordan and Yemen as well as the premiers from Djibouti, Malaysia and Pakistan are attending the extraordinary summit.

The Comoros has sent the secretary of state in charge of cooperation with the Arab world, while Oman has sent their deputy prime minister.

The parliament speakers of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are attending the summit.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akinci and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro are attending as observers.

Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem – now occupied by Israel – might eventually serve as the capital of a future state.

The OIC , established in 1969, consists of 57 member states with a Muslim majority or a large Muslim population.

A final communique is expected to be released following the OIC summit.

Source – TRT World