Why Some Arab Countries Avoided The OIC Meeting?

After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited the members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to attend an urgent meeting to discuss the status of Jerusalem, only 16 out of 57 heads of state went along, Quds Press reported .

This was a shocking response especially that Jerusalem is supposed to be one of the most important issues for Arabs and Muslims.

Kuwaiti political analyst Ayed Al-Manaa said to middle east monitor  that some of the countries did not want to attend an event which was also attended by Qatar, while others did not want to damage their relations with the US.

They feared that the OIC would rebuke US President Donald Trump over his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“We can understand the absence of Egypt due to the position of the Turkish president regarding the Egyptian military coup,” explained Al-Manaa, “but the absence of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE is not understood.”

He noted, though, that this was probably due to the Qatar issue, which was also likely to be the reason why the leaders of those countries did not attend the Gulf States’ summit held recently in Kuwait.

The analyst pointed out that Saudi Arabia was the destination of the first overseas visit made by Trump after becoming US President. “We also must not forget that Egypt is still in need of US support,” he added.

Turkey has called on the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to develop a strong “concerted response” to US President Donald Trump’s belligerent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Addressing the extraordinary summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the world to recognize occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned there could be no peace in the Middle East until such a step is taken.

Moreover, Erdogan denounced Israel as a state defined by “occupation” and “terror”, in a new diatribe against the Israeli leadership. “With this decision, Israel has been rewarded for all the terrorist activities it has carried out. It is Trump who bestowed this award,” he said.

Erdogan added,“I am inviting the countries who value international law and fairness to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,” saying Islamic countries would “never give up on this demand.”

As a result, the OIC Summit declared East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine, and invited all countries to recognize the state of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.

Moreover, the draft declaration adopted by the extraordinary session considered Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel “as a sign of US withdrawal from its role as a sponsor of the Middle East peace.”

On December 6,  the US President Donald Trump declared his decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s new capital adding that the American embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In response, world leaders, from Europe to the Middle East to Australia, slammed the decision as a “unilateral and outside the vision of a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” warning of heightened tensions or even violence across the Middle East.”