Middle East negotiates position on Jerusalem

Middle East negotiates position on Jerusalem

The extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) started in Istanbul today with a meeting at the level of foreign ministers in preparation for the summit at the leadership level that is expected to convene later in the day to discuss the US decision on Jerusalem.

It follows US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of the holy city as the capital of Israel and his decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Ahead of the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Muslim nations to urge the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

"We must encourage other countries to recognise the Palestinian state on the basis of its 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital," Reuters cited the minister as saying.

"Let’s protect Jerusalem, which is a holy site for the three Abrahamic religions,” Cavusoglu stressed. "Palestine needs to be recognized by other countries".

Russia's delegation at the summit is led by the Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

Head of the expert council of Baku Network, Elkhan Alasgarov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, said that OIC countries have to decide on further actions, when Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel violated the existing international regulations on the city's status. "The issue of Palestine and Jerusalem is regulated by the UN resolutions of 1947. So, the United States has violated an important document of international law," he said.

The expert drew attention to the fact that the issue of Jerusalem and Palestinian-Israeli relations as a whole remains the cornerstone of the settlement of the situation in the Middle East. "This is why the US decision caused a storm of indignation in the Muslim world. It is important to understand that Muslim countries and Palestinians recognize that the western part of Jerusalem is de facto the capital of Israel, but the eastern part of the city does not belong to it. Muslim leaders not just advocate the protection of Islamic Jerusalem shrines and the city as a center where the foundations of Islam were laid, but also the protection of Jerusalem as the center of Christianity," Elkhan Alasgerov stressed.

It is the confrontation of Palestine with Israel that destabilizes the situation in the Middle East. "This conflict is not beneficial, including for the Jews living in Israel. I expect that the summit will adopt resolutions with unanimous condemnation of the US decision I note that each of the Muslim countries  has its own problems in relations with the US. Except for Saudi Arabia, but it also condemned the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," the head of the expert council of Baku Network recalled.

"Now much depends on the Palestinians themselves. Hamas calls for radical actions, Fatah calls for the cancellation of all the treaties that have been reached with Israel, including the Camp David Accords. It is a very dangerous trend, because it brings the region back to confrontation between the Palestinians and the Israelis," Elkhan Alasgerov predicts.