Muslim states reject Trump peace plan and support Palestinian cause

At an emergency meeting on Monday, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation called for solutions based on international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative

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Palestine has welcomed Muslim-majority countries' support after a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation on Monday rejected a US plan to solve the decades-long conflict with Israel.

Foreign ministers from across the region and beyond met in Jeddah to discuss US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.

"The OIC rejects this US-Israeli plan as it does not meet the minimum aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and contradicts the terms of reference of the peace process," the organisation said.

It called on "all member states not to deal with this plan or co-operate with the US administration efforts to enforce it in any way or form".

It repeated its support for occupied East Jerusalem as capital of a future Palestinian state, stressing its "Arab and Islamic character".

Yousef Al Othaimeen, the OIC Secretary General, said the organisation was reaffirming its commitment to “solutions based on international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative".

Saudi Arabia and the UAE also affirmed their support for the Palestinian cause.

“We stick to a just solution that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people and the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said during the emergency session.

The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash said: “We renew the UAE’s historic and ongoing support for the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

The Trump proposal lays out conditions that need to be met to recognise an independent Palestinian state while accepting Israeli sovereignty over occupied West Bank settlements deemed illegal under international law.

One of the main points of anger is the plan’s classification of Jerusalem as Israel's "undivided capital".

Palestinians have long seen the city's eastern sector, which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, as the capital of their future state.

Israel warmly embraced the plan but the Palestinian Authority and others in the region dismissed it.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki said he appreciated the support his administration had been given against "attempts to impose unfair solutions on the Palestinians."

“The US peace plan is biased towards the Israeli side,” Mr Al Maliki said.

He said it prevented the Palestinian state from attaining its full sovereignty  and gave Israel the right to annex Palestinian lands and borders.

“It does not enforce any restrictions on Israel," Mr Al Maliki said. "The US opens a door for conflicts in all parts of the world.

"It gives the message to those who are allies of the Trump administration that they too can illegally occupy land. It does not refer to the occupation but instead promotes it.”

The peace plan was drawn up between Mr Trump's administration and the Israeli government alone, Mr Al Maliki said, and the Palestinian Authority was not part of its formation.

The Arab League on Saturday also rejected the plan, saying at a meeting in Cairo that it did not meet the "minimum rights" of the Palestinians.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said he would sever all ties with Israel and the US over the deal.

"We are informing you that there will be no relations with you (Israel) and the United States, including on security co-operation," he said on Saturday.