UNITED: Heads of 57 Muslim nations are urging the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capitalIn a historical move, leaders of 57 Muslim nations have united and called upon the world to recognise east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.
The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) issued a communiqué on Wednesday 13th December, which declares US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jeruslaem as Israel’s capital as “null and void” deeming it an “attack” on the rights of the Palestinian people.
Rejecting and condemning Trump’s recent move, the Istanbul Declaration on “Freedom for al-Quds” – the Arabic name of Jerusalem followed the extraordinary summit in Istanbul.
The OIC accuses the US of “deliberately undermining” peace efforts and warn that it has given “impetus to extremism and terrorism”.
Trump’s declaration last week upended decades of U.S. foreign policy and went against an international consensus that Jerusalem’s final status – one of the thorniest issues in the Middle East conflict – be decided by Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
In a speech to the OIC summit in Turkey, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it now would be “unacceptable” for the US to be the mediator” of the ongoing dispute of territories, since it is biased in favour of Israel”.
Mr Abbas has earlier said the UN should take over the matter and reaffirm the city’s legal position.
Mr Trump said his decision was nothing more than “a recognition of reality” and that he was not taking a position on the final status issues of any peace agreement. Claims are that Trump’s move has signalled Washington’s withdrawal from its role in the Middle East peace process.
The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.
The city is home to key religious sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, especially in East Jerusalem.
Israel occupied the sector, previously occupied by Jordan, in the 1967 Middle East war and regards the entire city as its indivisible capital.
Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally, and all countries currently maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. However, President Trump has announced that the US will eventually move its embassy.