Erdogan calls Israel state of ‘occupation’ and ‘terror’

Leaders of the Muslim world are attending the OIC summit in Istanbul


ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed Israel as a state defined by “occupation” and “terror” as he opened the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) extraordinary summit on the US recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

Leaders of the Muslim world are attending the OIC summit in Istanbul, looking to rally for a coordinated response to the US move on Jerusalem.

"Israel is a state of occupation. Besides this, Israel is a state of terror," Erdogan told leaders from the OIC gathered for an emergency meeting in Istanbul.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shout slogans near the Istanbul Congress Center as the leaders and the representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries gather for an extraordinary meeting in Istanbul, Turkey - Reuters 

The Turkish president urged the world to recognise occupied East Jerusalem as the "capital of Palestine" in response to the recognition of the city by President Donald Trump as Israel's capital.

"With this decision, Israel was rewarded for all the terrorist activities it has carried out. It is Trump who bestowed this award even," he said.

"I am inviting the countries who value international law and fairness to recognise occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine," Erdogan said, adding that Muslim countries would "never give up" on this demand.

‘Flagrant violation of international law’

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas in his address called the decision of US President Donald Trump a ‘flagrant violation of international law’. 

According to the Palestinian President, the decision of Trump could be used by extremists to ‘turn a political struggle into a religious one.” 

"Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state," Abbas told the meeting.

Abbas warned that there could be "no peace or stability" in the Middle East until Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of a Palestinian state.

"We do not accept any role of the United States in the political process from now on. Because it is completely biased towards Israel," he said.

He slammed the recognition by Trump of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a "gift" to the "Zionist movement" as if he "were giving away an American city," adding that Washington no longer had any role to play in the Middle East peace process.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday to attend the summit accompanied by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif.