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Spotlight: Islamic world doubts U.S. role in search for peace between Palestinians, Israelis
Last Updated: 2017-12-15 07:02 | Xinhua
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TURKEY-ISTANBUL-OIC-EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT

Participants pose for a group photo during the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, on Dec. 13, 2017. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday urged the Islamic world to recognize Jerusalem as the capital ofPalestine, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused any U.S. involvement in the peace process. (Xinhua/Anadolu Agency)

Islamic countries have voiced their doubt about the U.S. role in searching for peace between Palestinians and Israelis after U.S. President Donald Trump broke decades of Washington policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Leaders of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) rejected the U.S. decision as "null and void" and hit back by declaring East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine at a one-day summit of the OIC held in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday.

The OIC leaders warned Washington of "all the consequences" of not retracting its decision and said theUnited Stateswould lose its role as a sponsor of the peace process, according to a draft final communique adopted at the summit.

Addressing a press conference following the summit, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States is no longer an honest broker of peace.

The status of Jerusalem is at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel took over East Jerusalem, revered by Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam, in the 1967 war, and declared unilaterally the whole city as its eternal capital.

However, this move has never been accepted by the international community, which has called for reaching a final settlement of the dispute through Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

In response, theWhite Housesaid Trump "remains as committed to peace as ever" and the administration will unveil a plan which will benefit the Israeli and Palestinian people when the time is right, reports said.

On the current situation, theUnited Nationssaid it will work to do what it can to bring the Israelis and Palestinians back to the table for talks.

"What our concern is we want to make sure that the parties themselves are willing to hold talks with each other," said UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq.

Analysts said the strong message sent by the OIC countries indicates a very significant split between the United States and the Islamic world.

In the view of Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, president of the Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies, OIC countries are showing "one hundred percent unity" as well as a "very strong stance" against the United States.

"Furthermore, declaring the U.S. as partial and refusing its involvement in the future peace process as a mediator will also jeopardize the U.S. involvement as a superpower in other crises in the Middle East," he said.

"This is diplomatically a very important message," he said. "We can consider this as an awakening of the Muslim world."

The OIC summit was called by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has been one of the most outspoken critics of Trump's decision which also includes starting immediately the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump's announcement over the contested city has sparked days of violent clashes in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as well as protests in other Arab countries. Several rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel over the past few days.

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