The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is set to meet in Turkey to coordinate a response to US President Donald Trump’s plan to declare Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in the capital Ankara on Wednesday that the summit would take place on December 13 in the city of Istanbul.
“In the face of developments that arouse sensitivity over the status of Jerusalem [al-Quds], Mr. President is calling a leaders’ summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in order to display joint action among Islamic countries,” media outlets quoted Kalin as saying.
Turkey currently holds the chairmanship of the OIC.
The spokesman went on to say that the recognition of al-Quds as Israel’s capital and the moving of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to there would be a “grave mistake” against international agreements.
“Jerusalem [al-Quds] is our honor, Jerusalem is our common cause, Jerusalem [al-Quds] is our red line.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the spokesman also urged the Trump administration to “return from this grave mistake immediately.”
Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Wednesday that the expected US move risked igniting a “fire” in the Middle East and will prove a “great disaster.”
The recognition will “throw the region and the world into a fire and it’s not known when it will end”, Bozdag wrote on Twitter.
Bozdag said such a step which showed “great intolerance and mindlessness” would “destroy the peace process.”
Arab League member state delegates on Tuesday issued a joint statement, saying Trump’s move would constitute a “clear assault on the Arab nation and the rights of Palestinians and all Muslims and Christians.”
Trump’s plan sparks more global reactions
The move by Trump, set to come in a speech later on Wednesday, would ignore dire warnings of a historic misstep that could trigger a surge of violence in the Middle East.
The US plan has prompted global reactions ranging from concern to alarm. In a frantic series of calls, several world leaders, the European Union, France, Germany, China, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan all warned Trump against the move.
Pope warns of potential for dangerous fallout
Pope Francis joined a list of leaders warning of the potential for dangerous fallout of Trump’s plan. The pontiff added that maintaining Jerusalem al-Quds’ status quo was important “in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to an already volatile world that is wracked by so many cruel conflicts.”
Jordan’s king warns Trump over moving US embassy to Quds
According to a Jordanian palace statement, Jordan’s King Abdullah told Trump that any move by the US to declare al-Quds as the capital of Israel would have “dangerous repercussions” for regional stability.
It would also inflame Muslim and Christian feelings, the king added.
King Abdullah warned Trump of the risks of any decision that ran counter to a final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the creation of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem [al-Quds] is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world,” the statement said.
The monarch also phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and said they had to both work together to “confront the consequences of this decision.”
Jordanian officials are worried the move could trigger violence in the Palestinian territories and a spillover into Jordan, a country where many people are descendants of Palestinian refugees whose families left after the creation of Israel in 1948.
Trump’s plan could fuel tensions in the region: China
China expressed concern on Wednesday over Trump’s intention to recognize al-Quds as Israel’s capital, saying it could stoke regional conflicts.
“(We are) concerned that the move could sharpen regional conflicts. The status of Jerusalem [al-Quds] is complicated and sensitive. All parties should do more for the peace and tranquility of the region, behave cautiously and avoid impacting the foundation for resolving the long-standing Palestine issue and initiating new hostility in the region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing in Beijing.
UK opposes Trump’s move
British Prime Minister Theresa May also said she would speak to Trump about the US move.
British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, speaking as he arrived for a NATO meeting in Brussels, said “we view the reports that we have heard with concern, because we think that Jerusalem [al-Quds] obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a negotiated settlement.”
Pakistan ‘unequivocally opposed’ to Trump’s plan
Pakistan also joined a global chorus of alarm, calling on Trump to “refrain” from the move.
A statement from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s office warned on Wednesday that the US move would “constitute a clear violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.”
“It would also sidestep decades of global consensus on this issue, undermine regional peace and security as well as derail any prospects for a lasting peace in the Middle East,” it added.
Bolivia seeks UN Security Council meeting on Trump’s move
Meanwhile, Bolivian UN Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz plans to ask for a public meeting of the Security Council over Trump’s move.
The Bolivian envoy said the US plan would be a “reckless and a dangerous decision that goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council, it also weakens any effort for peace in the region and also upsets the whole region.”
Trump move will harm US-Arabs ties: Arab League
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Wednesday that Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel could undermine existing relations between the US and Arab countries.