International News

Muslim leaders to discuss al-Quds at OIC emergency summit in Turkey

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is set to convene an emergency summit in the Turkish city of Istanbul to discuss a coordinated response to US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
Representatives from 57 OIC members, including 30 heads of state, will attend the summit later on Tuesday.  
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Lebanese President Michel Aoun are among the participants. The level of Saudi representation, however, is still unclear.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and tasked the State Department with making preparations for the relocation of Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Palestinian city.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem al-Quds policy drew fierce criticism from the international community, including the United States’ Western allies, and triggered demonstrations against the US and Israel worldwide.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who assumes the rotating presidency of the OIC summit, said earlier that Washington is a “partner to bloodshed” and violence that may spark in the Middle East region, stressing that the “struggle” of Muslims would not end until there was an independent Palestinian state.
Erdogan has also described Israel as a “terrorist entity,” “killer of children” and an “oppressive and occupation” regime.
The Turkish leader said the OIC summit in Istanbul would convey the message that Washington should swiftly reverse its decision.
On Saturday, Arab League foreign ministers held an emergency meeting in Cairo. The meeting urged Washington to rescind its decision and called on the international community to recognize the Palestinian state.
On the eve of the OIC summit, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu lashed out at some Arab countries over their “very weak” reaction to US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.
Cavusoglu stressed that the OIC meeting must stand up to what he described as Washington’s “I am a superpower, I can do anything” mentality.
Sources in the Turkish presidency said Saturday that Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron had spoken on the phone over the case. They said the two leaders agreed to work together to persuade the US to reconsider its decision.
Also at a joint press conference after talks in Ankara on Monday, Erdogan said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin believe that Israel continues to “add fuel to the flames.”
Jerusalem al-Quds is under Israel’s control. The international community views the regime’s grip on the eastern part of the city, which came after the Six-Day War of 1967, as illegal, and urges talks to decide the fate of the entire city in any future peace deal.