OIC Extraordinary Summit Starts With Erdogan's Remarks

The declaration said US move to shift its embassy in Jerusalem is violation of UN Security Council

The OIC, of which Turkey is the current president, is meeting at a time the Muslim world is seething over Trump's decision on Jerusalem, a city considered holy by Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the summit the USA was no longer "qualified to mediate in the peace process" and demanded that a "new mechanism" headed by the United Nations be established to achieve a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Speaking at the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged leaders of Muslim nations to recognise Jerusalem as the "occupied capital of the Palestinian state".

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who hosted the summit of more than 50 Muslim countries in Istanbul, said the USA move meant Washington had forfeited its role as broker in efforts to end Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"We must encourage other countries to recognize a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital", he said.

He simultaneously sought an immediate and proactive engagement of the global community and particularly of OIC to mobilise pressure on Israel for halting and reversing its policies and practices.

It said the move was considered "null and void legally" and "an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people, a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus to extremism and terrorism, and a threat to worldwide peace and security".

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"The OIC rejects and condemns the American decision", he said.

He said Egypt and the United Arab Emirates would send foreign ministers while Saudi Arabia had yet to say how it would participate. Together with the OIC and the Islamic world, the prime minister said, Pakistan had always demonstrated its solidarity with the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations.

U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement on December 6, recognising the city as Israel's capital led to protests in many Muslim countries.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas called Trump's decision "a serious crime and a blatant violation of global law", adding that extremists could use it to turn a political dispute into a religious one.

Addressing the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu appealed to the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestinian state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the summit, which will also be attended by leaders including Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir.

"The Zionist movements should be continuously monitored and the OIC should meet if necessary to take the measures at the level of ministers or heads of the states", the president noted.

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