EU agrees in principle to hold forum with OIC for Jerusalem: Çavuşoğlu
Serkan Demirtaş - BRUSSELS
The EU has agreed in principle to hold a joint summit with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) for Jerusalem, Turkey’s foreign minister has said, informing that a meeting could take place this fall in Istanbul.
“We have proposed to organize a forum in Istanbul following the United Nations General Assembly in the fall. In principle, the EU is leaning towards this meeting,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters after a meeting on April 27 with the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh Malki and OIC Secretary General Yousef al-Othaimeen were also present at the meeting.
Turkey, as the term president of the OIC, proposed EU to hold a joint OIC-EU summit in Istanbul to allow these two big international organizations to jointly discuss the issue on Jerusalem after the United States’ decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The U.S. had announced the opening ceremony of the embassy would take place in mid-May on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Israeli state. The U.S.’ new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to visit Israel in the coming days
“It was a very beneficial and timely meeting. We, as the EU and the OIC, have evaluated the problems and the issues we are facing. One of them is about the status of Palestine and Jerusalem as well as what can be done against the decision made by the U.S.,” Çavuşoğlu said.
“Besides, we have also evaluated increasing humanitarian aid to Palestine and how we can compensate the [financial] assistance that has been cut by the U.S. to Palestine,” he said.
The EU and the OIC will work together to decide on the format of the forum and at which level it could take place.
An EU-OIC foreign ministerial summit had taken place in early 2002 in a bid to highlight peace and harmony between the Islamic and Christian worlds after the attack by al-Qaeda against the U.S. on Sep. 11, 2001.