OIC also declares so but failed to agree on concrete sanctions against Israel or US
JEDDAH: King Salman has declared that Palestinians have the right to East Jerusalem as their capital.
During his annual speech outlining his government’s priorities for the coming year at the Shoura Council here on Wednesday, he said; “The Kingdom has called for a political solution to resolve regional crises, foremost of which is the Palestinian issue and the restoration of the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights, including the right to establish their independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital,” the king was quoted as saying.
He, however, did not attend the emergency summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on the same day, which aimed to seek a tough response to the recognition by US President Donald Trump of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“I would like to reiterate the condemnation of the Kingdom and its deep regret at the US decision on Jerusalem, which represents blatant bias against the historic rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, which have been guaranteed by international resolutions and have been recognized and supported by the international community,” King Salman said.
He said Saudi Arabia was working with its allies to confront interference in countries’ internal affairs, which fueled sectarian strife and undermined regional security and stability. Saudi Arabia sought to consolidate the values of tolerance and coexistence, the king said. Islamic leaders declared “East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine” at the summit and invited “all countries to recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital”.
They also declared President Trump’s decision “null and void legally” and “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts” that would give impetus to “extremism and terrorism”. The summit, however, fell short of agreeing on concrete sanctions against Israel or US. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Lebanese President Michel Aoun were among the heads of state present, as well as the emirs of Qatar and Kuwait and presidents of Afghanistan and Indonesia. King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has reportedly been in close contact with Trump over the Middle East, were noticeably absent. Instead, Riyadh sent a senior foreign ministry official.
“Some countries in our region are in cooperation with the United States and the Zionist regime and determining the fate of Palestine,” seethed Rouhani — whose country does notrecognise Israel and has dire relations with Saudi Arabia — during the summit on Wednesday. Fight against corruption King Salman has vowed to eliminate corruption from the Saudi society terming corruption under mines societies and prevents their development and growth, and Saudi Arabia is determined to confront it. The issue would be dealt with “in a fair and firm way so that our country enjoys the renaissance and development hoped for by every citizen,” the king told the Council.
He said this was why he had ordered the formation of a supreme committee to fight public corruption, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.