Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Washington to turn back from its “unlawful and provocative decision” on Jerusalem, and urged world states to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
President Erdogan also called for the speeding-up of the process of incorporating Palestine into international accords. He was speaking to fellow Muslim leaders in Istanbul, at the emergency Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit, called in response to Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Erdogan reportedly also condemned the “violence shown by Israel,” extending his condolences to the ‘martyrs’ who have fallen protecting the State of Palestine.
The final declaration by the OIC summit says that the US decision on Jerusalem is equivalent to its withdrawal from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, NTV broadcaster reported. The OIC has recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, according to the broadcaster, citing the final declaration of the summit.
“The US administration should give up its role in the peace process, and if the US does not step back, it will be responsible for all the consequences,” the declaration states, as quoted by NTV.
The organization promised to take the discussion on Trump’s Jerusalem move to the UN General Assembly if the UN Security Council fails to take any action.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu voiced similar calls to “all other countries.”
“Firstly, the Palestinian state must be recognized by all other countries. We must all strive together for this,” Cavusoglu said as foreign ministers convened ahead of the full summit meeting in Istanbul.
“We must encourage other countries to recognize the Palestinian state on the basis of its 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he noted.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has described Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital as Trump’s “gift to the Zionist movement,” noting that extremists could use the move to “turn a political struggle into a religious one.”
Trump’s controversial decision triggered protests across Muslim countries, amid warnings from Ankara that the US move would plunge the world “into a fire with no end.”
Abbas said on Wednesday that he would seek a United Nations Security Council resolution to nullify Washington’s decision on Jerusalem, calling it the “greatest crime” and a striking violation of international law.
“Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine,” he told the emergency meeting of Muslim leaders in Turkey, adding that the US was giving away Jerusalem as if it were an American city.
“It crosses all the red lines,” he said, as cited by Reuters.
Earlier this week, Iranian Defense Minister General Amir Hatami also noted that Washington would have to bear responsibility for its decision. “[Trump‘s] move will hasten the destruction of the Zionist regime [Israel] and will double unity among Muslims,” General Hatami told a meeting of senior military officials on Monday. Washington’s “anti-security decision” is ratcheting up tensions in the region, he added.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had also condemned the US move, calling it a sign of “weakness and incompetence” on the part of Washington. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he considered it a “new conspiracy” against the Islamic world.
The US decision marks the first time since the UN-brokered partition of Palestine in 1947 that a president of America – a member of the Middle East Quartet (a well-known foursome of world powers mediating in the peace process between Palestine and Israel) – has backtracked from the established policy that the issue of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should be kept off the table.