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Turkey criticises US deal of the Century, supports Palestinian rights

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and OIC Secretary-General Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen (not seen) hold a joint press conference after "Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Emergency Open-Ended Executive Committee Meeting at the Level of Foreign Ministers on the Terrorist Attack Against Two Mosques in New Zealand and on Countering Hatred and Intolerance against Muslims" in Istanbul, Turkey on 22 March 2019 [Fatih Aktaş/Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul, Turkey on 22 March 2019 [Fatih Aktaş/Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu yesterday criticised the US deal of the century and emphasised the importance of supporting Palestinian rights, Turkish news agencies reported.

During his speech at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) executive committee meeting held in Saudi Arabia, Cavusoglu said sustainable peace cannot be achieved by disregarding the Palestinians’ dignity and ignoring “the just and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.”

Referring to the US economic workshop held in Bahrain last month, he said: “Economic projects and plans cannot replace the need for dignity, justice and freedom. And no project can succeed without a just peace.”

He added: “Expansion of illegal settlements continues throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around Al-Quds, as well as in the West Bank. This is a deliberate attempt to undermine the two-state vision.”

READ: Has the deal of the century really failed? Who thwarted it?

Cavusoglu said that Palestine is facing complex challenges, stressing that Jerusalem has been increasingly under threat.

“Israel is emboldened by creating facts on the ground, attempting to re-write history, and taking steps to destroy Islamic heritage, nature and the demographics of the city,” he said.

He criticised the Israeli excavation work around Jerusalem, which is seen by many Muslim countries as a move to further cement control over areas occupied in 1967.

“Through settlement expansion and excavation works, the Israeli government tries to destroy the nature of the old city of Al-Quds,” he said. “They also want to erase its Islamic character and heritage, and most importantly, change the demographics of the city to ensure a Jewish majority.”

READ: The shameful ‘deal of the century’

He emphasised that OIC members should work harder to ensure broader recognition of the State of Palestine and support Palestinians, “who resist the occupation in order to protect the Islamic identity of Al Quds.”

“When we act together, we make a difference and the voice of the Palestinians are better heard. Our joint efforts, which resonated at the UN General Assembly during our chairmanship are a testament to this,” he said.

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineTurkeyUS
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