ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A draft declaration prepared for a summit of Muslim leaders on Wednesday said they considered Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a sign of U.S. withdrawal from its role as a sponsor of Middle East peace.
The draft statement said leaders, ministers and officials from more than 50 Muslim countries “declare East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, and invite all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”
A copy of the draft declaration, tweeted by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, said the meeting rejected and condemned the U.S. move “in the strongest terms”.
It described the U.S. decision as “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts, an impetus (for) extremism and terrorism, and a threat to international peace and security”.
Wednesday’s summit was hosted by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who has bitterly criticized the United States, a NATO ally, for its stance on Jerusalem.
The city, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, is home to Islam’s third holiest site and has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed it in an action not recognized internationally.
Reporting by Tulay Karadeniz; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Daren Butler