A summit of Islamic nations declared East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state yesterday, in a counter-move to the decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Sources said more than two dozen leaders attended the summit in Istanbul and, in all, 56 member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) were represented.
Attendees included Qatar’s Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The OIC issued a statement saying it would “invite all countries to recognise the state of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”
Amid a day of fiery rhetoric, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he will seek a UN General Assembly vote to nullify Israel’s UN membership and demand full Palestinian membership in the UN Security Council.
“We will go to the UN General Assembly regarding Israel’s membership because its membership is in violation of all international resolutions and we’ll ask the Security Council for full membership in the General Assembly,” Abbas said.
Abbas and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan both said the US could no longer be regarded as a mediator. The Palestinian leader has requested UN sponsorship of an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
“These unilateral steps by President Trump will not give any legitimacy to Israel in Jerusalem. It is a Palestinian Arab Muslim Christian city, the eternal capital of the state of Palestine,” Abbas said.
“There can be no Palestinian state without the city of Jerusalem as its capital, and there will be no peace in the region and in the world without it,” he added.
Israel is “a country that feeds on blood and expands its borders by brutally killing children, civilians and women,” said Erdogan.
“Hey Trump, are you standing behind this Israel? There’s occupation here, there’s torture here, there’s terror here, are you defending that?” said the Turkish leader, who has been leading the charge against Trump’s announcement this month, which included plans to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Erdogan reaffirmed that US decision on Al-Quds (Jerusalem) “null and void”, confirming that Israel is an occupying and terrorist state.
Speaking at the opening session, Erdogan said the UN took a clear decision in 1980 stating that it is impossible for any state to locate its embassy in Al-Quds.
The Turkish leader added that as long as there was no just solution to the Palestinian issue, it was not possible for the world to be in peace.
Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah stressed on the importance of having everyone work on protecting the identity of Al-Quds and the sacredness of Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially after the US recognition of the city as the capital of Israel.
He described the Trump decision as unilateral and a severe violation of UN resolutions and called on the US to retract it.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II called on working together to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites in Al-Quds and to confront attempts to impose a new reality.
Iranian President Rouhani said all Muslim nations should work together to defend the rights of Palestinians.
Rouhani said the Trump move showed the United States lacked any respect for the legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation.
“Iran is ready to co-operate with all Muslim countries without any precondition to defend the legitimate rights of Palestinians,” Rouhani told the gathering.
In Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, who did not attend the OIC meeting, described Trump’s decision as a “flagrant bias against Palestinian people’s historical and invariable rights” in Jerusalem.
He asserted the Palestinians’ right to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
His Highness the Emir returned to Qatar yesterday evening from Turkey after he headed Qatar’s delegation to the summit.
The Emir was accompanied by an official delegation.
Qatar rejects Trump’s move on Jerusalem
Qatar has rejected and denounced US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warning the international community of its consequences and repercussions. In a press briefing yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lulwa al-Khater underlined that the move had no effect on the legal or moral status of the occupied city of Jerusalem, which is in the heart of millions of Muslims and Christians.
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