ISTANBUL: Turkey has called on Muslim nations to stand united for Palestine and to work to stop countries joining the United States in relocating their Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Speaking Friday to his counterparts from Muslim nations, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the “illegal” U.S. decision encouraged Israel to “massacre innocent Palestinians in cold blood.”
Turkey, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the organization, called an extraordinary summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, after Israeli forces killed dozens of people in Gaza earlier this week.
Addressing the morning session of the OIC in Istanbul, Cavusoglu said “we must prevent other countries from following the U.S. example.”
The minister said the OIC in its final declaration of the summit late Friday would emphasize the importance of the Palestinian cause and “together shout out that we will not allow the historic status of this holy city be changed.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Jordanian King Abdullah II and the Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah are expected to speak later Friday. Iranian President Hasan Rouhani is to attend the summit.
Cavusoglu also said “precautions” must be taken within the grouping after some nations voted against, abstained or did not show up at a United Nations vote in December. Some 128 countries overwhelmingly supported the U.N.
motion against Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Despite that, Cavusoglu said “the U.S. administration did not give up on ignoring the basic principles of international law or the will of the international community.”
Turkey has taken a leading role in condemning Israeli actions in Gaza, which has led to a diplomatic spat with both countries expelling senior diplomats this week.—AP