Islamic nations gather to seek united stance against U.S. Jerusalem move

Xinhua — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday urged the Islamic world to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused any U.S. involvement in the peace process.

Addressing an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Erdogan called on countries to recognize “Jerusalem as the capital city of the occupied Palestine,” while Abbas urged the world to recognize the state of Palestine.

The Turkish leader described U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital as a threat to all humanity, calling on Washington to withdraw the “wrong, provocative and unlawful” decision.

“The U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, above all, means punishing Palestinians who have proven numerous times that they side with peace instead of violence,” said Erdogan.

“The U.S. has lost its mediator role in the Israel-Palestine peace process, and we will never allow in the future that the U.S. takes part in the process,” Abbas said.

Speaking at a meeting with his OIC counterparts prior to the summit, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu urged the member states to encourage other countries worldwide to recognize East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital on the basis of the 1967 borders.

“Palestine needs to be recognized by other countries,” he said.

The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. As Turkey holds the rotating chair of the group, Erdogan called for an extraordinary summit with a view to drawing up a roadmap for Muslim nations to follow as they oppose the U.S. decision on Jerusalem.

A joint declaration is to be issued at the conclusion of the one-day summit.

The status of Jerusalem is at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as Palestinians are hoping for an independent state with East Jerusalem at the capital.