Israel a state of 'occupation' and 'terror', Erdogan tells Islamic leaders

Israel a state of 'occupation' and 'terror', Erdogan tells Islamic leaders

Speaking to a private broadcaster in a live interview, Cavusoglu said an Islamic summit in Istanbul will focus on U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Indonesia on Wednesday (Dec 13) called on fellow members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to turn the "unfortunate" U.S. decision on Jerusalem into a new push for a peace process in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday complained that there has been a lack of substance in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) expressions of solidarity with struggling Muslim nations. "Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Azerbaijan", he said.

Expert of Iranian studies Armen Iskandaryan says Turkey is trying to use the situation to strengthen its role in the region. Erdogan also again accused Israel of being a "state of terror".

Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - now occupied by Israel - might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

"We must also go ahead with realistic OIC decisions made so far on Al Quds [Jerusalem] in a focused manner", he told the sixth such extra ordinary summit of the OIC at the Turkish city of Istanbul.

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The president said Bangladesh affirmed "unswerving position" in favour of establishing the State of Palestine and urged all parties concerned to revive the Middle East Peace Process and take a constructive and pragmatic approach to it under a two-state solution.

Reiterating his point, PM Abbasi said: "This summit must unanimously reject the United States' divisive decision - Muslims all over the world must stand together to uphold justice, liberty and freedom".

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in his speech said Trump's decision was a "crime" which came at a time when the Palestinians were engaged with Washington in a new push to reach what he said was anticipated to be the "deal of our times". "There is no substitute to the role that the United States plays in leading the peace process", he said at a Hanukkah holiday candle lighting ceremony on Tuesday.

Last week, Trump announced his decision - despite widespread opposition - to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate Washington's embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Lebanese President Michel Aoun were among the heads of state attending, as well as the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait. "We want them [Arab and Islamic countries] to help the Palestinians in Jerusalem by demanding that the USA keep its mission in Tel Aviv. This US decision is null and void for us".

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