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.
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.
FM Asif said at OIC CFM that US decision to recognize Jerusalem contrary to international legality— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) December 13, 2017
FM Asif underscored at OiC CFM that US recognition of Jerusalem undermines its role as an honest broker in the peace process.— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) December 13, 2017
Foreign Office spokesperson, Dr Faisal tweeted that the foreign minister also called for summoning a session of UN General Assembly.
FM Asif asked CFM Istanbul If UN Security unable to act, OIC should call for UN General Assembly emergency session— Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) December 13, 2017
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.
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