Turkey hosts Islamic summit on Jerusalem amid rage at U.S. move


Islamic leaders are meeting on Wednesday to co-ordinate a response to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the U.S. embassy there, sparking anger among Palestinians and broader Muslim society.

The one-day event is being attended by heads of state and government, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Jordanian King Abdullah, Qatari leader Sheikh Tamim al-Thani and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who rules the West Bank, is at the summit. His rivals from the Islamist Hamas movement, in control of the Gaza Strip, are also expected. 

Palestinian youths have clashed with Israeli forces in recent days, leading to two deaths among protesters.

Palestinians long to see their own state recognised, with Abbas calling for East Jerusalem as its capital.

The summit is being called under the umbrella of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, a body long seen as ineffectual and fractured. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave remarks at the start, saying the U.S. move was destroying the opportunity for peace and coexistence, again rejecting Trump's decision. He called for nations to recognise East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. Cavusoglu said the Muslim world would not remain silent, according to Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu.

Media access to the summit meetings is restricted. Erdogan has been particularly critical of Trump's announcement last week, threatening to cut ties with Israel and calling the move a "red line" for Muslims.

By the end of the summit, the leaders are expected to have a joint position. At least 20 countries will send president or prime ministers, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.    (dpa)

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