(Istanbul) – Leaders from the world’s main Pan-Islamic body urged the international community to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital after US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.
The emergency summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul said it declared “East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine” and invited “all countries to recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”, according to the final statement.
They declared Trump’s decision “null and void legally” and “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts” that would give impetus to “extremism and terrorism”.
The statement said the OIC summit regarded Trump’s move “as an announcement of the US administration’s withdrawal from its role as sponsor of peace” in the Middle East.
It added that Washington’s decision amounted to “encouragement of Israel … to continue its policy of colonialism, settlement, apartheid and ethnic cleansing”.
The OIC groups together 57 member states. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened the meeting, seeking a coordinated response to Trump’s announcement last week.
Regarding himself a champion of the Palestinian cause, Erdogan denounced Israel as a state defined by “occupation” and “terror”, in a new diatribe against the Israeli leadership.
“With this decision, Israel was rewarded for all the terrorist activities it has carried out. It is Trump who bestowed this award even,” he said.
“I am inviting the countries who value international law and fairness to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,” he said, adding that Islamic countries would “never give up” on this demand.
In an angry address, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said the United States had lost its role as the mediator in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, denouncing Washington as biased in favour of the Jewish state.
“Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state … There will be no peace, no stability without that,” Abbas said.
He slammed the recognition by Trump as a “gift” to the “Zionist movement” as if he “were giving away an American city”.
“We do not accept any role of the United States in the political process from now on. Because it is completely biased towards Israel,” he said.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated that Ankara would be pushing for OIC states to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.