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Turkish President calls for recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Palestine state

In a swift move the pan-Islamic body Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has rejected US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israeli capital and its move to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

According to Hurriyet Daily News, while addressing the Muslim world leaders at the extraordinary OIC summit in Istanbul on Wednesday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on the international community to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestinian state.

He said “I invite countries that claim international law and equity to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state under occupation. It is a must for countries that have not yet recognized the Palestinian state to take this important step, to maintain a balance that will ensure good sense and justice in the region.”

Meanwhile  Yousef al-Othaimeen, the Secretary General of OIC  urged Muslim leaders to work together to present a united response to the move.

He further said, “The OIC rejects and condemns the American decision,” he said. “This is a violation of international law … and this is a provocation of the feelings of Muslims within the world … it will create a situation of instability in the region and in the world.”

Palestinian President Mehmoud Abbas, while speaking before the OIC Secretary General, said that US has “disqualified” itself from future  peace talks after proving its “bias in favour of Israel”. He said that Trump’s decision has violated the international law.

The 57 member Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), founded in 1969, is considered to be a “the collective voice of the Muslim world”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presided the OIC Summit and addressed the opening and closing ceremonies of the summit.

Abbas further said,”We shall not accept any role for the United States in the peace process, they have proven their full bias in favour of Israel. Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine.” This was his strongest comment on the issue so far.

Addressing the Muslim leaders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of being a “state of terror” and said that US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been rebuked by the international community.  

“It is null and void … except Israel, no country in the world has supported [this decision].Anyone who walks a few minutes in the streets of Jerusalem will recognise this city is under occupation,” Erdogan said.

Palestinians consider East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel believes that Jerusalem, which is now under their occupation, cannot be divided.

On December 6, US President Donald Trump  had announced that the US formally recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital had ordered to begin process of moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city, the proposed capital of independent Palestine.

The extraordinary OIC summit was called for by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the US move.

Among 22 heads of the state and government who participated  in the extraordinary OIC Summit in Istanbul on Wednesday included, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Bangladeshi President Abdoul Hamid and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Some 25 foreign ministers including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Kazakhstan participated in the summit while Saudi Arabia was represented by Islamic Affairs Minister Salih bin Abdulaziz al-Shaikh.

While briefing about the OIC Summit on Tuesday the Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told that some Arab countries have failed to sufficiently repudiate Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital because U.S. President Donald Trump “scares them.”  He further said, “It seems that some Arab countries refrain from challenging Trump.”

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, reporting from Istanbul, said Erdogan was seeking to “unite the Muslim world” and “come up with a concerted response” to the US’ move.

“He faces a daunting task. In the hall that he was addressing, there were countries who are not willing to go beyond rhetoric opposition at the expense of sacrificing their relationship with the United States,” said Adow.

Trump’s announcement of recognising Jerusalem as Israeli capital instruction to start process of moving US capital to the city has provoked a wave of huge protests in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.

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