CAIRO – 12 December 2017: After the American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, Arab and Islamic nations have held summits and urgent meetings to discuss mechanisms of responding to the U.S. decision.
King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein is expected to arrive in Riyadh to convene with Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salaman. The Saudi-Jordanian summit will tackle recent developments in the Arab region, most notably the American announcement over Jerusalem.
The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) plans to hold an emergency summit in Istanbul to discuss recent regional developments, especially pertaining to Jerusalem. Most OIC members are expected to attend, such as Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad.
On Monday, Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo and discussed means to confront the American announcement.
“Palestinians have changed their defensive attitude to attacking attitude against the American administration stances regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the occupied lands of Jerusalem,” Palestinian sources in Ramallah told Pan-Arab Al-hayat on Tuesday, adding that Abbas is expected to announce expelling the U.S. from any Palestinian-Israeli talks after Trump officially declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The sources stressed that “Abbas is backed by Europe, Russia, China, many UNSC member states and Arab countries, most importantly Egypt and Saudi Arabia.”
During his electoral campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and acknowledge Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.
In April, Moscow announced its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, expressing hope that the city’s eastern half might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestine.
The EU’s Foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini rejected a call made by Israel’s prime minister to follow the U.S. in recognizing Jerusalem as the country’s capital, adding, during a news conference in Brussels, that there was “full EU unity” in support of the status quo.
Palestine’s Abbas, Egypt’s Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb and Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Pope Tawadros II announced their refusal to meet with U.S.’s Vice President Mike Pence, who plans to visit the Arab region next week, in the aftermath of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
US Vice-President Mike Pence speaks as he attends the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the UN vote calling for “the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel”, at Queens Museum in New York-AFP
Pence will meet President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to highlight U.S.-Egypt cooperation on security issues. “President Trump has directed me to go to the Middle East in late December,” Pence said in a keynote speech delivered at the “In Defense of Christians” annual solidarity dinner for Christians in the Middle East.
His trip will also take him to Israel during Hanukkah to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, without meeting any official from the Palestinian side, AFP asserted on Monday.