East Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital: OIC

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: AP

‘Trump’s decision is null and void’

Islamic leaders on Wednesday urged the world to recognise occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that the U.S. no longer had any role to play in the peace process.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan convened in Istanbul an emergency summit of the world’s main pan-Islamic body, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), seeking a coordinated response to the recognition by U.S. President Donald Trump of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

With the Islamic world itself mired in division, the summit fell short of agreeing any concrete sanctions against Israel or the U.S.

But their final statement 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”. They declared Mr. Trump’s decision “null and void legally” and “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts” that would give impetus to “extremism and terrorism”.

Israel sees the entire city as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector, which the international community regards as annexed by Israel, as the capital of their future state.

Mr. 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,” said Mr. Erdoğan, who holds the rotating chairmanship of the OIC.

He said all countries who “value international law and fairness” should recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,” saying Islamic countries would “never give up” on this demand.

‘No more role for U.S.’

Using unusually strong language, President Abbas warned that there could be “no peace or stability” in West Asia until Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Moreover, he said that with Mr. Trump’s move, the U.S. had withdrawn itself from a traditional role as the mediator in the search for West Asian peace. “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.

The final statement from the OIC echoed this sentiment, saying Mr. Trump’s move was “an announcement of the U.S. administration’s withdrawal from its role as sponsor of peace” in West Asia.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 8:08:21 AM |

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