Rouhani, Erdogan seek OIC action on al-Quds 

December 6, 2017

TEHRAN – During a phone conversation on Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed recent moves surrounding al-Quds (Jerusalem), urging the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take action.

Rouhani thanked Erdogan for making the phone call and accepted his invitation for an emergency summit of the OIC in Istanbul.

Rouhani called on Islamic states to join hands in opposing the “dangerous” move by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Rouhani has warned the U.S. against relocating its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds (Jerusalem), saying the “illegal” move would further destabilize Palestine and the region.

"We believe, given the current conditions, all Islamic nations must become united and take a serious step in countering this wrong, illegal, provocative and gravely dangerous move by America," Rouhani said.

“There is no doubt that Israel is responsible for all the insecurity and instability,” he added.

The two leaders spoke as Trump was due to make an announcement later in the day on whether he would renew a six-month waiver on the relocation of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Israel, a decision that the U.S. Congress made in 1995 but all of his successors have deferred ever since.

Israel lays claim to the entirety of al-Quds as its “capital” while Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of a future state for themselves.

Palestinian leaders have warned that the potential relocation would fuel strong reaction in the region and deliver a death blow to any prospect of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Describing the issue of Palestine and countering Israeli plots as “priorities” for the Islamic world, the Iranian president invited all “peace-loving” nations to "resist" the Tel Aviv regime’s “wrongful measures.”

Erdogan, in response, expressed concern over Trump's announcement and said Trump’s “insolence” was due to the “internal discord” is the Islamic world.

Warning that Washington's move would “ratchet up tensions and lead to bad incidents,” the Turkish leader added "the Islamic world needs to express its unity and integrity on this issue."

In anticipation of Trump's move, 151 members of the UN General Assembly voted last week to adopt a rare resolution that denounced Israel as the “occupying power” of al-Quds, a city that is holy to Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike.

The city has seen heightened tensions since 2015, when the Israeli military introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque — Islam’s third holiest site.

‘Quds belongs to Islam’


Earlier the day, Rouhani also addressed the issue of Palestine as he spoke during a meeting of officials with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).

Rouhani stressed during the speech that “Quds belongs to Islam, Muslims and the Palestinians, and there is no room for new adventurism by global arrogance.”

He also emphasized that Muslims, including Palestinians, should stand up against the conspiracy to declare Quds as the Israeli “capital,” saying Muslim states and the OIC have a great responsibility in that regard.

SP/PA