Sovereign Palestinian homeland only roadmap for Muslim Ummah, OIC: Abbasi

Summit must unanimously reject the revisionist decision of the United States, says premier

Mona Khan

ISTANBUL: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit on Wednesday and said a sovereign homeland for the Palestinian people with Jerusalem as its capital remains the only roadmap for the Muslim Ummah and OIC. 

"A sovereign homeland for the Palestinian people with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital remains the only roadmap for Muslim Ummah and OIC." 

The premier added that the international community has the opportunity to uphold the principles of justice and rule of law.

"Pakistan calls upon the UN Security Council to play its role as envisaged under the UN Charter." 

The premier also presented three recommendations on the issue of Jerusalem.

"Diplomatically, if the UN Security Council is unable to respond, we should garner support in the UN General Assembly," said Abbasi while addressing the Muslim head of states at the summit. 

Abbasi also urged the participants to urgently overcome political differences as "we need a concerted programme and common collaborative action, building on our strengths".

The premier also recommended that the OIC decisions regarding economic actions against the Israeli occupational forces must be followed up upon to change their behaviour.  

Abbasi stated that the summit must unanimously reject the "revisionist decision of the United States".

"Muslims all over the world must stand together to uphold justice, liberty and freedom. We must stand firmly behind all those in the international community that are trying to awaken global conscience," said the premier. 

Furthermore, he said, the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice could be sought on the current move. 

Earlier in the day at the summit, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel undermines the role of the United States as an honest peace broker.

While opening the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Israel as a state defined by “occupation” and “terror”.

"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.

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 US 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.

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

The Pakistani premier also met Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan on the sidelines of the summit. During the meetings matters of mutual interest were discussed. The prime minister along with Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif also met Erdogan on the sidelines.

‘Flagrant violation of international law’

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas in his address called the decision of 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.