Turkey's President Erdogan called on the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine in response to Trump's move on the city. Palestine's President Abbas said the US no longer has a role in the Middle East peace process.
Turkey has called on the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine in response to the US decision to recognise the city as Israel's capital and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.
"We call on the international community to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine," Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit convened in response to Trump's move on the city.
Erdogan said Trump's decision was a threat to all humanity. He called Israel an occupying and terror state, and said the US president's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital rewards Israel's "terror acts."
These are the key points from Erdogan's statement:
- "We call on the international community to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine"
- US decision is invalid illegitimate and unlawful
- US must turn back from “unlawful and provocative decision"
- Process of incorporating Palestine in international accords must be accelerated
- Israel is an occupying and terror state
- US decision rewards Israel’s terror acts
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas followed Erdogan at the podium at the OIC summit in Istanbul, calling the Trump administration's decision the "greatest crime" and a "flagrant violation of international law."
Abbas said it was unacceptable for the US to have a role in the Middle East peace process because it was biased in favour of Israel.
"Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine," he said adding that the US was giving away Jerusalem as if it were an American city.
"It crosses all the red lines," he said.
Here are the key points from Abbas’ statement:
- Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine
- US no longer has a role in the ME peace process
- Palestine will seek a UN Security Council resolution to nullify the US decision
- Extremists could use Trump's decision to "turn a political struggle into a religious one"
- Palestinians could withdraw its membership of international bodies over the decision
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu opened the OIC summit, calling for recognition of the "Palestinian state on the basis of its 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital."
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.
Council of Foreign Ministers of #OIC convenes in #Istanbul to discuss the situation following recognition of USA of #Jerusalem as supposed capital of Israel and transferring its embassy there pic.twitter.com/KPZ16c1pF1— OIC (@OIC_OCI) December 13, 2017
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.
Extraordinary Session of the OIC Council of Ministers has started in #İstanbul. The #Muslim world must stand by the people and the state of #Palestine in their rightful cause. pic.twitter.com/NRor2pvmar— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) December 13, 2017
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.