Istanbul will host an extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday in the wake of U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The summit follows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call on OIC member countries to gather extraordinarily after the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement last week was followed by worldwide opposition.
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.
During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Islamic summit to send 'strong message' on Jerusalem
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will send a “strong message” against the United States decision on Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Tuesday.Speaking to a private broadcaster in a live interview, Cavusoglu said an Islamic summit in Istanbul will focus on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.The OIC will hold the emergency summit to discuss recent regional developments, especially as they pertain to Jerusalem.Last week, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. Embassy to the city.The dramatic shift in longstanding U.S. policy drew angry reactions -- including numerous demonstrations -- from across the Middle East.“We are working on an Istanbul Declaration,” Cavusoglu said, noting that a joint declaration will be announced after the meeting which will “strongly reject” the U.S. move.He underlined that the Islamic summit will also call on the countries which have yet to recognize Palestinian statehood for recognition of Palestine.“The decision taken by the United States will be rejected strongly. A country like the U.S. should not fall into this situation... We will expect the U.S. to return from this mistake. This decision will be counted as null and void,” Cavusoglu said.Turkey's foreign minister noted that Ankara had recognized Palestine as a state with East Jerusalem its capital.OIC summit on Jerusalem to be a turning pointJerusalem: A century of hostile occupationIstanbul Islamic summit to tackle Jerusalem- Syria without AssadOn recent developments in Syria, Cavusoglu noted that Turkey’s stance against the Bashar al-Assad regime was “unchanged”.Despite Turkey’s support for a political transition in Syria, “we think that an interim government with Assad will not be able to hold an election in real sense,” he said.He also reiterated Turkey’s objections against the PKK/PYD terrorist group’s attendance at a Syria conference in Russia.There are many Kurdish organizations in the country and the PKK/PYD represents only a small group of Kurds in Syria, according to Cavusoglu, who underlined that Turkey was not against Kurdish people but against terrorist groups.“The PKK/PYD is not the only representative of Kurds in Syria. Even they represent [only] a small part of the Kurdish people,” he said. "We not only protest it, but we gave the Russian authorities the list of other Kurdish groups in Syria.“We are not against our Kurdish brothers, we are with them.”He said the PKK/PYD in northern Syria still posed a threat to Turkey, and Ankara would take any decision to eliminate such a threat.The PKK/PYD is the Syrian branch of the PKK, which has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for 33 years leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 people.The U.S. has provided weapons to PKK/PYD terrorists for its anti-Daesh campaign in Syria, largely ignoring the group’s links to the PKK, which the U.S., EU and Turkey list as a terrorist group.While touching upon Trump’s decision to stop arming PKK/PYD terrorists, Cavusoglu said Ankara hoped the U.S. leader would fulfil his words.He also noted that the top military officials from Turkey, U.S. and Iraq will discuss the next steps of fighting against terrorism adding that fight against Daesh was not ended yet.Video: Clashes escalate across Palestine after Trump's Jerusalem move
On Tuesday, in a televised interview, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said the OIC will send a “strong message” to the U.S. and Israel.
High-ranking officials from 48 countries, 18 of which are sending presidents and prime ministers, will attend 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 will attend the extraordinary summit.
The Comoros will send the secretary of state in charge of cooperation with the Arab world, while Oman will send their deputy prime minister.
The parliament speakers of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will also attend the summit.
OIC summit on Jerusalem to be a turning point
The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will convene for an extraordinary summit in Istanbul to discuss Jerusalem following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize the holy city as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. embassy to the city. The OIC, which was established in 1969 to support a free Palestine, is expected to go beyond messages of condemnation at the summit and prompt the U.S. to abandon its decision that enables the Israeli occupation of Palestine and massacre of Palestinians. Possible decisions that the OIC could take for a free Palestine are as follows:1. Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.2. Jerusalem should not be excluded from all regional discussions.3. Israel is an occupying state and it should withdraw from these territories immediately. No international enterprise can legitimize this occupation. 4. U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is null and void. Initiatives to halt its implementation should be started urgently and this decision should be made impractical by effective measures.5. All attempts made and pressure put on Muslim countries to compromise on Jerusalem must be rejected.6. Jerusalem cannot be seen as a bargaining piece in the name of "peace" or "rapprochement" with Israel, nor can it be up for discussion. Countries that do this should be condemned and put under pressure.7. Muslim countries should clearly and collectively declare to the world that they reject all initiatives that view Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.8. All negotiations in the name of "peace" with Israel should be ended immediately. Joint political, military and economic projects with Israel should also end.9. Muslim countries should cut their economic and political ties with Israel.10. Harsh economic and political pressure must be imposed on the Israeli government, defense of Palestine should be noted as a non-controversial decision, and Israel should be isolated from the region.Jerusalem: A century of hostile occupation11. A historic step should be taken at the extraordinary OIC summit in Istanbul, firm decisions should be made and Muslim countries must demonstrate their political strength and their capability to act independently.12. OIC member countries should withdraw their ambassadors to the U.S. for “consultations.”13. Muslim countries should limit, freeze or even end relations with the countries that accept Israel's occupation of Jerusalem. 14. European countries in particular should be subjected to intense pressure in this regard. Strong lobbying should be initiated immediately. 15. Initiatives should be started in the European Union, Russia and China, and international organizations should be mobilized. 16. The declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is also unacceptable for the Christian world. Therefore, Eastern churches and the Christian clergy should be gathered in Istanbul and a common decision should be made. 17. The U.S. has lost its impartiality in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The U.S. administration should no longer be considered an interlocutor in Middle East peace talks. All Muslim countries should declare that they will not see the U.S. as a party of peace.18. Muslim countries should establish a common force to defend Jerusalem, establish a line of defense, and encourage and direct large-scale mass movements. A global pressure mechanism must be mobilized.19. Muslim countries should establish a Common Peace Army, and within this power a unit should be formed under the name of “The Force to Protect Jerusalem.”20. Muslim countries should establish a “Jerusalem Fund” within the OIC, and the economic dependence of the Palestinian people on Western countries must be ended. 21. The airspace of Muslim countries should be closed to Israeli aircraft, and the sharing of intelligence with Israel and the U.S. should be stopped immediately.22. Israel's military interventions in Muslim countries should be responded to harshly, and mechanisms and partnerships should be established to prevent these interventions.23. Muslim countries must end their conflicts with each other and unite in solidarity against the threats posed by Israel and the U.S. 24. The headquarters of the OIC must be moved to Istanbul, and Istanbul should run the post of general secretary.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called an extraordinary summit of the OIC to be held in Istanbul on Dec. 13 to discuss Jerusalem after Trump’s declaration. The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world.No reduction in aid to Palestinians: UN relief agencyIstanbul Islamic summit to tackle JerusalemIsraeli forces hit Gaza Strip, defense official saysYıldırım calls for Muslim unity on Jerusalem
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mustafa Akıncı and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will also attend as observers.
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 organization.
The organization 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 Islamic Ummah."
A final communique is expected to be released following the meeting.