Jerusalem status: Extraordinary OIC summit with 57-member states underway in Istanbul

01:30 PM | 13 Dec, 2017
Jerusalem status: Extraordinary OIC summit with 57-member states underway in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - A special session of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has kicked off in Turkey to deliberate over the chaos following the US president's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel - an illegitimate state in Palestine.

The summit is being chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country holds the rotating chairmanship of the OIC, with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi along with Punjab Chief Minister  Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif in attendance.

Opening up the debate, Turkish President Erdogan went hard on Israel terming it a state defined by “occupation” and “terror”.

'Israel is a state of occupation. Besides this, Israel is a state of terror,' Erdogan told Muslim leaders who landed in Istanbul for the emergency meeting.

The Turkish president urged the world to recognise occupied East Jerusalem as the 'capital of Palestine' in response to Trump's decision.

'I am inviting the countries who value international law and fairness to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,' Erdogan said, adding that Jerusalem was a red line for Muslims countries who would never give up on this demand.

Palestinian president decries Jerusalem move

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas in his address called the decision of US President Donald Trump a 'flagrant violation of international law'.

According to the Palestinian President, the decision of Trump could be used by extremists to 'turn a political struggle into a religious one.'

Abbas warned that there could be no peace or stability in the Middle East until Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Earlier on Wednesday, foreign ministers from the member states met in Istanbul, where they condemned Donald Trump’s controversial decision and expressed their solidarity with Palestine.

PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi meets President of Palestine Mr. Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of OIC summit

After the meeting, Pakistan's Foreign Office issued a statement implying that the controversial recognition, contrary to international laws was highlighted by the Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif during the meeting.

Foreign Office spokesperson, Dr Faisal tweeted that the foreign minister also called for summoning a session of UN General Assembly.

Who is attending

Top level officials from almost all the Muslim states have shown up at the session to send a message of unity and brotherhood.

The representatives include:

Saudi Arabia - Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Nizar bin Obaid Madani

Azerbaijan - Ilham Aliyev

Indonesia - President Joko Widodo

Malaysia - Prime Minister Najib Razak

Qatar - Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

Turkey - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Palestine - President Mahmoud Abbas Hamas

Iran - Presidents Hassan Rouhani

Indonesia Somalia Jordan - King Abdullah

Pakistan - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif

Afghanistan - President Ashraf Ghani

Lebanon - President Michel Aoun

Kuwait - Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Bangladesh - President Abdul Hamid

Sudan - President Omer al-Bashir

Egypt - Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

CM Punjab meets Mayor of Istanbul

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif received a rousing welcome as he landed in Istanbul.

Shehbaz Sharif also met mayor Mevlut Uysal on the sidelines of the ongoing OIC.

During the meeting, the two leaders condemned Trump's Jerusalem move and discussed ideas on expanding cooperation between Punjab and Istanbul.