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Muslim countries declares East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital, says US move marks its withdrawal from peace process

Istanbul: A draft declaration prepared for a summit of Muslim leaders on Wednesday said they considered Washington’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a sign of US withdrawal from its role as a sponsor of West Asia peace.

Group photo of leaders and representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member during an extraordinary meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters

Group photo of leaders and representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member during an extraordinary meeting in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters

The draft statement said leaders, ministers and officials from more than 50 Muslim countries “declare East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, and invite all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital".

A copy of the draft declaration, tweeted by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, said the meeting rejected and condemned the US move “in the strongest terms”.

It described the US decision as “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus (for) extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security”.

Wednesday’s summit was hosted by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who has bitterly criticized the United States, a NATO ally, for its stance on Jerusalem.

The city, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, is home to Islam’s third holiest site and has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in an action not recognised internationally.


Published Date: Dec 13, 2017 22:35 PM | Updated Date: Dec 13, 2017 22:35 PM

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