ISTANBUL, Turkey – The biggest grouping of Islamic nations put aside differences and recognised East Jerusalem as the capital of occupied Palestine, the most concrete response yet to the American move of recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The surprise announcement came despite Saudi Arabia and its allies sending low-level officials to the heads of state Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul on Wednesday, suggesting an unwillingness to adopt a strong position.
The final communique declared "East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine" and invited "all countries to recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital".
It stated it rejected and condemned "in the strongest terms the unilateral decision by the President of the United States America recognising Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying power."
It said the move was considered "null and void legally" and "an attack on the historical, legal, natural and national rights of the Palestinian people, a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus to extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security".
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