Islamic world mulling measures against countries following U.S. move on Jerusalem

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-19 07:47:36|Editor: Liu
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a press conference during an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 18, 2018. The 57-member OIC on Friday vowed to take "all necessary steps" to prevent other countries from following the U.S. example of moving their Israel embassies to Jerusalem. (Xinhua/Anadolu Agency)

ISTANBUL, May 18 (Xinhua) -- The 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday vowed to take "all necessary steps" to prevent other countries from following the U.S. example of moving their Israel embassies to Jerusalem.

The move came after the group held an extraordinary summit in Istanbul upon the call of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in response to the U.S. inauguration of its embassy in Jerusalem and the killings of more than 60 Palestinian protestors by Israeli forces on Monday.

Citing Guatemala which has followed suit, the final communique adopted at the conclusion of the meeting voiced "determination to take the appropriate political, economic and other measures against countries which recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or relocate their embassies thereto."

"Countries running for international posts seeking the OIC's support for their candidature will be assessed based on their positions regarding the Palestine question, in particular on Jerusalem," said the final communique.

In the document, the group is calling for "necessary action" against member states failing to comply with OIC resolutions on the Palestinian cause.

Declaring the Israeli use of deadly force against unarmed Palestinians as "savage crimes," the group called for an international protection of the Palestinians, urging member states as well as the international community to ban the import of products made in Israeli settlements built on the occupied land.

Reaffirming its rejection of U.S President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the OIC called the embassy relocation move an act of "provocation and hostility" against the Muslim community.

"Sending international peace force to Palestinians who sacrifice young children every day to Israeli terror is imperative," Turkish President Erdogan said at a press conference.

"Responsibility for consequences of this provocative decision to sabotage the peace process entirely belongs to the U.S.," he added.

For Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, president of the Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies, the OIC meeting has sent a "very clear" message.

"What is very striking is that the OIC leaders have decided to impose political and economic sanctions on the U.S., Israel and countries who support them and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," he told Xinhua.

In his view, it is now possible for the Islamic world to break ties with the United States and boost cooperation with other powers which are also against the U.S. policies.

Ali Faik Demir, an academician with Galatasaray University in Istanbul, also laid emphasis on political and economic measures to be taken by the OIC against those appeasing the U.S. and Israel.

"What kind of measures are they talking about or what would be the time limit, it is not clear," he added. "There is no specific timetable."

Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem in just one week have been widely denounced as reckless moves set to further destabilize the already volatile Middle East. Yet the divisions within the Islamic world mean no solid countermeasures can be expected for now.

"U.S. President Donald Trump has created more discord in the Middle East by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He has further complicated the existing mess in the Middle East and has deepened enmities and mistrust," wrote Ilnur Cevik in Turkey's Daily Sabah.

"The strategy to establish a hegemony over chaos harms the region's countries and people," Fahrettin Altun wrote in the daily.

The plight of Palestinians has resonated with Turks, prompting a continuous outbreak of rallies in Turkey, a situation that is believed to benefit Erdogan and his ruling party as snap parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for June 24.

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