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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Address by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu at the Extraordinary Meeting of the OIC Executive Committee (16 May 2021, VTC)

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,

Honorable Ministers,

Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies,

Essalamu Aleykum ve Rahmatullahi ve Berakatuh,

-Before I begin, I pray for Allah Almighty’s mercy upon our Palestinian brothers and sisters martyred by Israeli aggression. I also wish a speedy recovery to the wounded.

-Let me thank Summit Chair Saudi Arabia and our brother Prince Faisal for requesting today’s meeting in line with the Final Communique adopted by the Committee of Permanent Representatives.

-I also thank the Secretariat for organizing this meeting at short notice.

-Peace of the Ummah was again disrupted during our most sacred days of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

-These cherished days that we were supposed to celebrate with our families, children and friends, turned into the days of mourning.

-Israel alone is responsible for the recent escalation in East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza.

-Restrictions of freedom of worship in Haram-al Sharif and forced evictions of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah prepared the ground for the current situation.

-Our warnings to Israel last week went unheeded and we ended up with another tragedy.

-These were part of the systematic Israeli campaign of ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing.

-On the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba disaster, the Palestinians continue to suffer.

-The purpose of the Israeli Government is to drive all the Arabs and Muslims out of Al Quds.

-Expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and destruction of Palestinian properties have reached record levels.

-If this trend is not reversed, the two-state solution will become physically impossible.

And our first qibla Al Quds will be lost forever.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

-The UN Security Council has once again failed.

-It could not even adopt a press statement due to the objection by the U.S. There is no reason to be optimistic about today’s meeting either.

-In the past, given the inaction of the Council, we have led the UN General Assembly to adopt landmark resolutions on the status of Al Quds and the protection of Palestinians

-We should lead a similar initiative at the UNGA this week. We should attend the UNGA session to show our support.

-Personally, I will travel to New York and I encourage our colleagues to join the Palestinians as well.

—We should also make maximum use of other international platforms such as the Human Rights Council and UNESCO.

-We could ask the Council to establish a Fact-Finding Mission to investigate and report violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territories.

—We should also build new international coalitions with like-minded countries and institutions.

-Over the past few days, President Erdogan spoke to many leaders around the world. I have also reached out to many counterparts for the same purpose.

-We need to integrate civil society and faith groups in our efforts as well. These may include,

o Christian communities in Al Quds that have also been threatened and

o even Jewish organizations that oppose Israel’s policies of aggression.

-Given Israel’s attacks against journalists we should also increase our dialogue with major international outlets.

Brothers and sisters,

-Half of the casualties in Gaza are women and children.

-We should not just adopt declarations and make statements. We should do more.

—First, the international community has the responsibility to protect Palestinian civilians.

-An important part of this responsibility lies with us as the OIC.

-We have to work for the establishment of an international protection mechanism for the Palestinian civilians in accordance with the UNGA resolution adopted in June 2018.

-These efforts should also include physical protection through forming an international protection force with military and financial contributions of the willing countries.

—Second, holding the relevant Israeli political and military authorities accountable is necessary.

-The International Criminal Court (ICC) has a special role in this.

—Third, we should actively support the elections in Palestine as well as intra-Palestinian reconciliation.

Brothers and sisters,

-There are a few, who have lost their moral compass and voiced support for Israel.

It is not surprising that these figures are also known for their racist and anti-Islamic policies. History will certainly judge them.

-However, if there are half-hearted statements within our own family, how could we criticize others? Who will take our word seriously?

-Unfortunately, we were proven right as we witness how the normalization efforts have emboldened Israel.

-So we should be clear in our stance and be on the right side of history.

-We should stand for justice and humanity. There should be no other considerations.

-This is time to show our unity and decisiveness. Ummah expects our leadership and courage.

And Turkey is ready to take whatever action necessary.

Thank you.