OIC hold emergency meeting in wake of Trump’s Jerusalem decision

World Today

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers his speech in the opening session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Leaders and high-ranking officials of Muslim countries met in Istanbul to discuss the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Erdogan_ term president of OIC, the umbrella organisation of 57-members, has been vehemently critical of the U.S. move and said the leaders would relay a “strong message.” (Emrah Yorulmaz/Pool Photo via AP)

Ministers and officials of over 50 Muslim countries gathered in Istanbul for the emergency OIC – Organization of Islamic Cooperation – meeting called by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports.
Follow Michal Bardavid on Twitter @michal_bardavid

Erdogan had been extremely vocal on the U.S. move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stated the U.S. had become a partner in Israel’s bloodshed. In his opening statement, Erdogan once again lashed out at Israel.

“Israel, which is guilty of occupation, blockade, illegal settlements, destruction of houses, displacement, seizing land and property, disproportional violence and murder, was rewarded for all the terror acts it committed with this decision,” President Erdogan said.

OIC leaders stated the U.S. move signaled that it had withdrawn itself as a sponsor of peace in the Middle East.

The Palestinian leader said the U.S. move was a breach. “U.S. President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the decision and order to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is a clear breach of international laws and signed agreements,” Mahmoud Abbas said.

The OIC has called for international support regarding their declaration, and has already received some backing in the past few days. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited Istanbul this week, stood in solidarity with Erdogan, while Malaysia’s Defense Minister had stated earlier that their armed forces were ready to be sent to Palestine for support if needed.

Meanwhile, the latest developments are also affecting Turkish-Israeli ties.

Following the U.S. declaration, Turkish President Erdogan stated Turkey would go as far as cutting all ties with Israel, yet, some experts emphasize there are many aspects to consider regarding Turkish-Israeli ties.

“Following the normalization agreement between Turkey and Israel, the general attitude was to separate political disagreements from practical relations and to keep moving on with relations in economics and trade. Energy was an important common interest. Additionally, two countries continued to assist one another on humanitarian missions and maintained their dialogue channels open,” Middle East expert Karel Valanski said.

Jerusalem has been central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. Since the U.S. decision, thousands have demonstrated against the move both in Asia and the Middle East.