OIC extraordinary Summit kicks off in Istanbul

57 Muslim leaders convene summit to respond Trump’s Al-Quds move

Alwaght– Representatives from 57 states convened an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul to discuss US president’s provocative decision to recognize al-Quds (Jerusalem) as Israeli regime’s capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the OIC, was the first head of state to address the event.

He told OIC leaders that Israeli regime’s expansionism is “skyrocketing,” describing the entity as “a state of occupation.” “Besides this, Israel is a state of terror.”

“While the occupying state (Israeli regime) is being recognized, there is no logical reason for the party that wants peace (Palestinians), that lives in one fifth of historical Palestine to not be recognized,” Erdoğan said, reiterating that al-Quds and the holy al-Aqsa compound were a red line for the Muslim world.

The Turkish leader further urged the international community to recognize East al-Quds as the “capital of Palestine.”

Erdogan described Washington’s decision as a reward for Israeli “terror acts” and said the city was a red line for Muslims.

‘Al-Quds will forever be Palestine’s capital’

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decried the Trump administration’s decision as the “greatest crime” and a flagrant violation of international law. He said Washington was giving away al-Quds a “gift” to the “Zionist movement” as if it were an American city, adding, “It crosses all the red lines.”

“Al-Quds is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state… There will be no peace, no stability without that,” he said.

Abbas rejected any future role for the United States in the so-called Middle East peace process, noting that Washington is biased in favor of Israeli regime.

He called on the UN to assume the mediating role in the Mideast peace process and revive it with a new mechanism as the US is no longer “fit” for the task.

The Palestinian president pointed to the unanimous international opposition to Trump’s decision, calling it a “provocation” to Muslim and Christian sentiments.

Iranian President: Muslims must unite against Israel

In his address to OIC leaders, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the Zionists as “strangers” who have planted seeds of regional violence in the West Asia.

Rouhani expressed Iran’s preparedness to cooperate with Muslim countries to defend the Palestinian rights and called on Muslims across the world to unite against Israel’s policies.

The Iranian chief executive slammed certain regional states for seeking to establish relations with the Zionist regime, warning, “Today it is no secret that the biggest enemy of the Jews [is] not the Muslims and Arabs but the dangerous project of Zionism.”

“Instead of countering the threats of the Zionists, some countries in our region are aligned with the US and Zionists to prescribe the fate of Palestine—If such prescriptions are taken, the Zionists would permanently dominate the Palestinians,” Rouhani said.

The Iranian president further called on the Muslim world to unite against the Zionist regime.

“If we suffer from differences amongst ourselves over some issues, we should not be divided on defending the holy Quds and the Palestinian cause. All the problems of the Muslim world can be resolved through dialogue. It is only through Islamic unity that we can better support the rights of the Islamic Ummah and the holy Quds,” he added.

Prior to his speech to OIC leaders, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took to twitter to condemn the US for disrespecting Palestinian rights.

“The recent decision by the US admin made it clear that the US is only seeking to secure the maximum interests of the Zionists and has no respect for the legitimate rights of Palestinians. The US has never been an honest mediator and will never be,” Rouhani tweeted.

‘Al-Quds status quo must not change’

Jordanian King Abdullah II rejected any attempt to change the status quo of East al-Quds and its holy sites.

He stressed that the West Asia cannot witness peace until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved. “All violence… is a result of a failure to find a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue.”

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was recognizing al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and tasked the State Department with making preparations for the relocation of Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.

The dramatic shift in Washington’s al-Quds policy drew fierce criticism from the international community, including the United States’ Western allies, and triggered demonstrations against the US and Israel worldwide.

On Tuesday, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, reaffirmed the position of the European Union, saying al-Quds, which hosts the al-Aqa Mosque compound, shall become the capital of a Palestinian state and the western part of the city shall go to Israel as part of a so-called two state solution.

“We have made it clear that we will continue to respect the international consensus on al-Quds, as Europeans, including the relocation of our embassies until the final status of al-Quds is resolved through direct negotiations between the parties,” she added.

Maduro joins Muslims’ pro-Palestinian chorus 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was among surprising attendees at the urging summit of the OIC in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Before leaving for the OIC meeting, Maduro said the aim of his trip was “to evaluate everything that has to do with the solidarity for the Arab people of Palestine” facing “aggression of the imperialist government,” referring to the US.

On Saturday, Arab League foreign ministers held an emergency meeting in Cairo. The meeting urged Washington to rescind its decision and called on the international community to recognize the Palestinian state.

Al-Quds is under Israel’s control. The international community views the regime’s grip on the eastern part of the city, which came after the Six-Day War of 1967, as illegal, and urges talks to decide the fate of the entire city in any future peace deal.