JAKARTA, 8th March, 2016 (WAM)–The fifth Extraordinary Jakarta Islamic Summit in Indonesia on Monday regretted the chaos ripping parts of the Muslim world, caused by spread of armed conflicts and extreme violence in the Muslim world.
The Muslim nations’ leaders cautioned that such crises should not move the spotlight away from “the central issue” for the world’s Muslim community: Palestine.
A resolution endorsed at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “extraordinary” summit on the Palestinian issue said the leaders were “aware of the tragic spread of crises” in the Islamic world, including armed conflicts and terrorism.
“Nonetheless,” it said, that situation “should not divert international attention from the cause of Palestine and al-Quds al-Sharif [Jerusalem], which must remain the central issue of the Islamic community.
Millions of people – mostly Muslims – have been killed, maimed, terrorised or displaced in OIC members Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere in recent years.
The United States was represented at the two-day meeting in Indonesia by Arsalan Suleman, the Obama administration’s acting special envoy to the 57-member OIC.
When he addressed the meeting on Sunday, Suleman said the violence must stop, stressing that there was “no justification for acts of terrorism now or ever.”
“We all have watched over the past year and a half as waves of horrific attacks against civilians have washed across Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip,” he said.
“The United States has unequivocally condemned acts of terrorism, and called on both sides to take steps to reduce tensions and end the violence.”
The leaders gave “unequivocal support” for Palestinians’ “legal right to resist” the occupation.
The documents repeatedly condemned the Israeli government, accusing it of carrying out a “brutal and criminal onslaught” on innocent Palestinians, and of encouraging Israeli citizens to be armed, “to terrorise and torment Palestinian civilians and to wreak havoc and destruction.”
Israel was further accused of endangering al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City – the third holiest site in Islam – and was blamed exclusively for the failure of more than 20 years of negotiations, due to its “lack of political will” and its “intransigence.”
The leaders approved a range of measures to increase pressure on Israel, threw their weight behind a boycott of Israeli goods produced in the disputed territories, and agreed to set up an expert legal group to study options for referring “human rights violations in Palestine” to international bodies.
The OIC resolution regretted “the illogical position taken by certain countries and entities aimed at taking punitive measures against the government of the State of Palestine for pursuing legitimate and peaceful venues to seek redress from illegal measures and policies of the occupying power.”
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, closing the summit, said that if the OIC is not part of the solution to the Palestinian problem, then the 47-year-old bloc will become irrelevant.