Istanbul Declaration, turning point for Palestine, strategic blow to US Jerusalem decision, American-Muslim advocate says.
The Istanbul Declaration is a turning point for Palestine and a strategic blow to President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem decision, head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said Wednesday.
“Turkish President Erdogan’s and OIC’s final declaration in Istanbul, recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine is one clear result that has now triggered international campaign of counter-recognition of Trump’s decision,” Nihad Awad said at the Global Policy Institute, think tank in the U.S. capital.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was established during a historic summit in Rabat, Morocco in 1969 following an arson attack on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, issued a declaration on Wednesday recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.
The "Istanbul Declaration" dubbed "Freedom for Jerusalem" was issued Wednesday evening after an extraordinary summit held in Istanbul.
"OIC's declaration should be taken seriously, they represent 57 countries," Awad stated, hoping that the international community would back the declaration and encourage others, including the European Union for more constructive and clear role in mediating the peace process away from the U.S.
Highlighting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call on Jerusalem, Awad stated that the international community would follow Erdogan's call and it would encourage other powers such as Russia and China against the U.S.' decision.
Speaking at the summit Wednesday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on world powers to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and said the U.S. should reverse its "awful and provocative" decision.
Awad said that the U.S. has never been an honest broker between the Palestinians and Israelis, instead, it has backed the Israeli occupation and funded the Israeli government with billions of dollars.
Recalling that Jerusalem was peaceful under the 400-years of the Ottoman Empire in the past, expert and chief news analyst, Martin Sieff, who spoke at the same panel, said the Istanbul meeting has the greatest importance and may lead to new developments in the region.
“It will resonate for years and decades and the consequences of this meeting, the political and even strategic as well as diplomatic implications of this submit in Istanbul would be of the greatest consequence and may lead major realignments in the region,” Sieff noted.
Defining Trump's Jerusalem decision as spurning the UN and turning its back on international law, Enver Yucel, President of the Bahcesehir University Global Network Board of Trustees, also condemned the Trump administration for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Last week, Trump announced his decision -- despite widespread opposition across the Middle East -- to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump’s announcement sparked strong condemnation from around the world, including Turkey, the EU and the UN.