OIC’s decision not retaliation for US move: Presidential spokesperson
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Istanbul declaration was not in “retaliation” to the United States decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided” capital, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Dec. 14.
Speaking to state-broadcaster TRT, Kalın said the OIC’s 57 members, as well as European, Latin American and Asian countries have rejected the U.S. decision.
His remarks came a day after the OIC summit in Istanbul issued a declaration recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
“Islamic countries are more united and are stronger than ever in the wake of the U.S. decision,” he said.
He said the summit resolved to take other important steps, such as bringing the Jerusalem issue to the United Nations, speeding up the process of recognizing Palestine as a state, merging funds to boost Jerusalem’s economy and bringing the forgotten cause of Palestine to the international agenda.
Kalın also said Turkey’s consulate in East Jerusalem has already been serving as an embassy. “It’s important to make this official,” Kalın said.
He stressed that peace and stability in the Middle East is “impossible” without solving the Palestinian issue.
Kalın also said he expected several issues concerning Palestine to gain fresh momentum after the OIC declaration, such as the two-state solution, ending the occupation, the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, the return of Palestinian refugees to their land and the Middle East peace process.
The peace process can only be revived at the end of a negotiating process that will work to establish a sustainable Palestinian state, according to Kalın.
He said Turkish officials had warned their U.S. counterparts against Trump’s unilateral decision, as the decision would endanger the peace process and isolate the U.S.