The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) played host in Jeddah, on 15 September 2019, to the extraordinary meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers. The meeting, called for and chaired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, discussed the Israeli prime minister’s stated intention to annex lands from the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian issue is the first central concern of the OIC member states, Secretary General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen said, considering the prompt manner in which they responded to the call by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the current Chair of the Islamic Summit Conference, and a clear recognition of the primacy of the Palestinian cause.
He addressed the opening session by expressing grateful appreciation to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, may Allah preserve them, for the urgent call for this important meeting.
Dr Al-Othaimeen went on, “the Saudi call is a continuation of the dedicated commitment, both political and material, on the part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to advance the issues of the Muslim world, mainly the Palestinian cause.” He thanked the member states that have taken similar positions in support of the resilient Palestinian people, stressing thatunilateral actions by Israel, the occupying force, and its continued attempts to alter the historical, geographical and legal identity of Palestine, violating the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, have earned the condemnation of the overwhelming majority of the international community. Political and legal mechanisms need to be put in place to hold Israel responsible and accountable for its incessant violations, and to ensure international protection for the Palestinian people, their land and sanctities, OIC Secretary General underlined.
For his part, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaIbrahim Al-Assaf, Chair of the meeting, said the Palestinian cause has been –and still is– central to the Muslim world. It is a primary issue of concern for this sacred land and a top-level agenda for its foreign policy, he added, pointing out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia historically has always supported the Palestinian people, in all circumstances and by every means, to recover their rights and establish an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty over its territories along the lines of 1967 and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
He went on, “the Kingdom is very clear in condemning and rejecting the Israeli prime minister’s statement, considering it and its resulting consequences null and void.”
Also speaking to the meeting was Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki, who said that the risks of the Israeli prime minister’s statement cannot be underestimated as it endangers prospects for any two-state political settlement acceptable to the Palestinians, the Arab and Islamic world and internationally.