US Withdraws From Unesco, As World Body Recognises Palestine

Leaders from the world's main pan-Islamic body today urged the international community to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital after US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.

The emergency summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul said it 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," according to the final statement.

They declared Trump's decision "null and void legally" and "a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts" that would give impetus to "extremism and terrorism."

The statement said the OIC summit regarded Trump's move "as an announcement of the US administration's withdrawal from its role as sponsor of peace" in the Middle East.

The step by Washington amounted to "encouragement of Israel... To continue its policy of colonialism, settlement, apartheid and ethnic cleansing," it added. The OIC groups together 57 member states but bridging the gaps in a Muslim political community that includes nations including arch rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran is far from easy. AFP


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