M'sia condemns US move to proclaim Jerusalem as Israeli capital

AHMAD ZAINI KAMARUZZAMAN

ISTANBUL: Malaysia condemned and rejected the United States’ move to proclaim Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) as the capital city of Israel, while calling for it to ultimately become the capital of Palestine.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the move undermines all efforts towards finding a comprehensive, just and durable solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak attend the extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey. Bernama pic.

“More than ever, the future of the two-state solution hangs in the balance given its fragile context. “Any attempt to recognise Al-Quds Al-Sharif or any changes in the pre-1967 borders, is an infringement of the Palestinian people’s rights and their right to self-determination. “It is also a serious breach of international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including the recent Resolution 2334 (2016),” he said today at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Extraordinary Summit on Jerusalem issue in Turkey.

Najib said the final status of Al-Quds Al-Sharif should not be decided on by a unilateral recognition but resolved through bilateral negotiations between Palestine and Israel under the framework of the two-state solution. “Recognition of Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of Israel is akin to adding fuel to what is already a combustible situation.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak pose with other participants for a photo session at the extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey. EPA-EFF

“Doing so also endorses Israel’s brutal occupation and repressive policies, which have caused immense suffering to the Palestinian people,” he said.

Najib said the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif was at the heart of the Palestinian cause and the American decision was a provocation which would lead to serious consequences on the security of the region.

He said it had also inflamed the sentiments of the Palestinians and the Muslim Ummah worldwide. “We have witnessed violence and unrest as a result. We have seen protests and demonstrations against the decision, including in my own country. “We fear that this is a situation waiting to explode as tensions continue to escalate in the region,” he said.

Najib said as an organisation that represented more than 1.6 billion Muslims, the OIC must not be indifferent. “It cannot remain silent in the face of such an unjust development. Our collective voice cannot be ignored, and neither should the chorus of negative reaction from the wider international community. “We must unite in our cause to reject any move to proclaim Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital city of Israel. On the contrary, Al-Quds Al-Sharif must ultimately be the capital of the state of Palestine.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) greets Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul, Turkey. Bernama pic.

“At the same time, we must strive to dissuade other countries from following suit in proclaiming the city as Israel’s capital. “Our faith unites us in this endeavour and we must not relent in our collective will to fight for what is right and just.”

Najib said the impasse in the Middle East peace process needed pragmatic solutions based on international law and norms and hoped that the US could make a helpful contribution by rescinding its decision and shouldering its responsibility in helping to achieve a comprehensive and lasting peace on the basis of the two-state solution. “We must be reminded that Al-Quds Al-Sharif is sacred to Muslims and is also a place of great religious significance to other faiths. “These holy sites remind us that the city should be a place of peace where worshippers from different faiths can congregate and pray. “We should therefore do all we can to preserve peace in the city and ensure access for worshippers of all faiths,” he said. Najib said the OIC needed to unite and speak with one voice to ensure that any attempt to alter the character and status quo of Al-Quds Al-Sharif against the wishes of the Palestinian people was totally rejected.

The Summit, held at the Lutfi Kirdar Congress Centre here, began with an address by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Also present in the summit, which is attended by 57 world leaders, is Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

The summit is being held to consider the situation in the wake of the United States administration's recognition of the occupied city of Al-Quds Ash-Sharif (Jerusalem) as the so-called capital of Israel, the occupying power, and the decision to transfer the US Embassy to Jerusalem. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd