Muslim leaders reject Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

musl reThe Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has rejected the United States’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the group’s secretary general announced.

Yousef al-Othaimeen, speaking on Wednesday at the opening of an OIC summit in Istanbul, urged Muslim leaders to work together to present a united response to the move.

“The OIC rejects and condemns the American decision,” he said. ”This is a violation of international law … and this is a provocation of the feelings of Muslims within the world … it will create a situation of instability in the region and in the world.”

Speaking ahead of Othaimeen, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the US has “disqualified” itself from future Israel-Palestine peace talks after proving its “bias in favour of Israel”.

Founded in 1969, the 57-member OIC bills itself as “the collective voice of the Muslim world”.

President Donald Trump announced on December 6 that the US formally recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the city, breaking with decades of US policy.

The decision violated international law, according to Abbas.

“We shall not accept any role for the United States in the peace process, they have proven their full bias in favour of Israel,” he said.

“Jerusalem is and always will be the capital of Palestine.”

Palestinians envisage East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel says Jerusalem, which is under Israeli occupation, cannot be divided.

The extraordinary OIC summit was called for by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following Trump’s announcement.

Speaking at the meeting, Erdogan accused Israel of being a “state of terror” and said the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been rebuked by the international community.

“It is null and void … except Israel, no country in the world has supported [this decision],” he said.

“Anyone who walks a few minutes in the streets of Jerusalem will recognise this city is under occupation.”

Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow, reporting from Istanbul, said Erdogan was seeking to “unite the Muslim world” and “come up with a concerted response” to the US’ move.

“He faces a daunting task,” our correspondent said. “In the hall that he was addressing, there were countries who are not willing to go beyond rhetoric opposition at the expense of sacrificing their relationship with the United States,” he said.

Trump’s move has provoked a wave of protests from Asia, through the Middle East, to North Africa, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets in recent days to denounce his decision.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA