Organization of Islamic Cooperation says no compromise on Jerusalem

The Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall and the Mughrabi Gate entrance to the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, are seen in Jerusalem's Old City. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo)
Updated 05 December 2017
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Organization of Islamic Cooperation says no compromise on Jerusalem

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has deplored attempts to change the historical and legal status of the occupied city of Jerusalem.
In an extraordinary meeting of the OIC’s Committee of Permanent Representatives on Monday, a statement was issued expressing concern over the US administration’s plans to change the city’s status.
The statement reaffirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause, especially Jerusalem, to the entire Islamic Ummah as OIC’s ultimate and permanent headquarters.
It also confirmed the Arab and Islamic identity of East Jerusalem, the capital of the occupied Palestinian territories, and condemned illegal measures that aim to impose Israeli control, which will contribute to changing the status, demography and identity of this holy city.
The committee also condemned all statements and stances announced by US officials that defied Islamic holy places, explaining that there will be grave consequences to anything that poses a threat to international peace and security.
“The Islamic Ummah and OIC member states will not accept any hostile action that compromises the status of Jerusalem, and the OIC will work on immediately putting its resolutions into action,” the statement said.
The statement reiterated the sovereignty of the Palestinian state in all Palestinian territories that were occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and in its borders with neighboring countries. The OIC pledged to stand in the way of any step that would negatively affect this.
The committee’s statement stressed that all legislative and administrative measures taken by Israel, the occupying state, to impose its regulations on Jerusalem are illegal and, therefore, null and illegitimate, according to the UN’s resolutions, and called upon it to distinguish between Israel and the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.
OIC also called on all member states to cut ties with any official or non-official body that recognizes Israel’s annexation of the Holy City or transfers the city’s representation to Israel.
According to the statement, the road to achieving peace and security in the Middle East begins by not recognizing what Israel is doing and compelling it to withdraw from Palestine, especially Jerusalem, in the implementation of relevant international resolutions.
The OIC pointed out that if the US takes a step toward recognizing Jerusalem as the “capital of Israel,” the organization unanimously recommends holding an emergency meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers and then an emergency Islamic summit, provided a date and location are decided.


Exclusive: UAE mogul Khalaf Al-Habtoor calls for a boycott of US firms, execs. who pulled out of Saudi investment summit

Updated 15 October 2018
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Exclusive: UAE mogul Khalaf Al-Habtoor calls for a boycott of US firms, execs. who pulled out of Saudi investment summit

JEDDAH: In an Op-Ed column written exclusively for Arab News, UAE business tycoon Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor has called for an Arab boycott of US companies and executives who have pulled out of Saudi Arabia’s upcoming Future Investment Initiative (FII) summit, or decided to freeze ongoing dealings with the Kingdom. 
A number of media companies, including Bloomberg, New York Times, CNN and CNBC have announced pulling out of the partnerships with the FII summit happening on Oct. 28 in Riyadh. This was in the aftermath of the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, more than 10 days ago, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 
Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement with his disappearance, and has sent a team to assist Turkish investigators to find out what happened to the Saudi. 
Khashoggi’s vanishing has caused many to blame Riyadh, given he had recently become a vocal critic of its leadership in a number of columns for The Washington Post, while living in the  US. 
Pulling out of the FII media partnerships, or executives, such as Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi  cancelling their attendance, is unjustified, argued Habtoor, considering the investigation into the journalist’s whereabouts is ongoing.
The Emirati businessman also takes on London-based Virgin Group founder Richard Branson who suspended his negotiations on tourism projects in Saudi Arabia as well as discussions with the country’s Public Investment Fund.
“The Saudis’ Gulf Cooperation Council allies, as well as Egypt and Jordan, must stand shoulder to shoulder with Riyadh to show those companies they are not welcome to operate within our borders. They should be boycotted. Together we must prove we will not be bullied or else, mark my words, once they have finished kicking the Kingdom, we will be next in line. Now is the time to prove our loyalty and transparency toward each other,” the businessman said.
Al-Habtoor said he was “shocked” that the US Congress is pressurizing President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East when the truth has not even been determined. He also condemned US media, government officials and lawmakers for rushing to judgement on an active investigation. 
“Last week, Saudi basked in America’s friendship. A single individual goes off the radar and Riyadh is targeted with warnings and threats from America’s political, financial and business sectors. Considering that the investigation is not yet over, if this is not gross overkill, then what is?” He said.