Jerusalem Saga: Why Some Arab Leaders Avoided OIC Meeting

PM to attend OIC summit in Istanbul on Dec 13

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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif are also in Turkey to represent Pakistan at the summit.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif says the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital undermines its role as an honest broker in the Middle East peace process.

While addressing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Istanbul on Wednesday, Khawaja Asif said that US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital is contrary to global legality.

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The two leaders reaffirmed the strong and abiding ties between the two brotherly countries and also exchanged views on issues of global and regional importance.

The prime minister said both houses of Pakistan's parliament had unanimously echoed these sentiments and "we all stand firmly behind the Palestinian people and their just struggle".

The extraordinary summit has been called by the President of Turkey in his capacity as the Chair of the OIC summit.

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The worldwide community does not recognize the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem, a holy site for three religions, and believes its status should be determined based on an agreement with the Palestinians, who seek to create their own state with the capital in the Holy City. Both the leaders condemned United States declaration regarding Jerusalem.

A statement from the Prime Minister Office had stated that it is "deeply regrettable that pleas from states across the globe not to alter the legal and historical status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif have been ignored, more out of choice than necessity".

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