Bangladesh President seeks rock solid OIC stance on Jerusalem issue


ISTANBUL, Turkey, 14, 2017 (BSS) – President M Abdul Hamid yesterday said OIC must not remain as bystander on Jerusalem issue as he joined an emergency summit of the Muslim nations’ major grouping, convened to decide a coordinated response to the US recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

“The OIC cannot remain a bystander at this hostile action . . . we must also go ahead with realistic OIC decisions made so far on Al Quds (Jerusalem) in a focused manner,” he told the sixth such extra ordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the Turkish city of Istanbul.

President Hamid expected the emergency summit to deliver a strong message to the international community that, “we are rock solid in unity behind them in their struggle for the just cause” and provide Palestinians necessary support and strength.

The Bangladesh president’s comments came as, chairing the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Muslim nations must press the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

The summit at Istanbul Congress and Exhibition Centre drew heads of state and government and ministers from over 50 Muslim countries a week after US President Donald Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem triggered widespread protests in the Middle East and Muslim world.

President Hamid said Bangladesh and its people expressed their full solidarity with the Palestinians against the US announcement – recognition of Jerusalem as the “so-called capital of Israel”.

“Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joins the Muslim Ummah with a call for an immediate reversal of the US decision and their truly constructive and helpful role as the Palestinians are facing travesty of fairness and justice,” he said.

The president said Bangladesh affirmed “unswerving position” in favour of establishing the State of Palestine and urged all parties concerned to revive the Middle East Peace Process and take a constructive and pragmatic approach to it under a two-state solution.

He said the December 6 US announcement and process to transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem came to “shock and outrage the Islamic feelings posing a great threat to the Middle East Peace Process as well”.

“The decision . . . drastically reduced the credibility of the US administration as an honest mediator in the Arab-Israeli peace process,” President Hamid said.

He simultaneously sought an immediate and proactive engagement of the international community and particularly of OIC to mobilise pressure on Israel for halting and reversing its policies and practices.

President Hamid also thanked the Turkish leader for convening and hosting a special OIC Summit in due urgency and spirit of fraternity and solidarity, “with our Palestinian brothers and sisters subjected to yet another mindless blow on their rights and status”.

The Bangladesh president feared that the US announcement may trigger “grave consequences” and threaten international peace and security by “inflaming the Muslim world and raising new waves of tension, hostility and violent extremism in the already volatile region of the Middle East,” he said.

He said the US recognition would impose Israeli control over the holy city of Al Quds and “contribute to changing its historical and legal status, its demographic structure and historic Arab-Islamic character”.

“The Muslim Ummah can never accept (this) as the Haram al-Sharif, the first Qibla and third holiest shrine is housed there,” he said.

The Bangladesh president pointed out that the US decision was made in blatant violation of international law and a number of UN Security Council resolutions.

He particularly referred to Security Council Resolution no. 467 that declared null and void the decision to change the status of Jerusalem and Resolution no. 478 calling Israel to cease its occupation of Jerusalem and attempts to change its legal and demographic character.

Rohingya issue

President Hamid also expressed gratitude to the OIC chief and its member- states for their supports in the United Nations and other international forums on Rohingya issue and particularly referred to summary report issued in Astana Science Summit favouring the displaced Rohingyas.

He said the minority Rohingya Muslims took refuge in Bangladesh fleeing their home in Myanmar to save their lives as the worst victims of military atrocities at their own home in Rakhine state.

President Hamid reiterated his calls for sustained pressure on Myanmar government to ensure their early, safe, secured and dignified repatriation and make authorities in that country to address the root cause of the problems restoring their citizenship and all related rights.