Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu represented the TRNC at the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Extraordinary Summit.

The Summit, took place today in Istanbul and was attended by Foreign Ministers and Heads of States and Governments from OIC countries.

The Summit was called to order by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss the OIC’s stance on US President Trump’s recent decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

During the event, TRNC Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu gave a speech to the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers and representatives present as well as observer member states. In his address, the Foreign Minister stated that the decision would not benefit either side in this regional conflict and emphasised that the reversal of President Trump’s decision would serve to maintain peace within the region as a whole.

The Foreign Minister’s full remarks are below:

“I would like to express my gratitude to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for his decision to hold this important meeting as the incumbent president of the OIC.

“The world is living in a period in which politics is above the law and, unfortunately, this experience is a common experience between Islamic and non-Islamic societies

“When politics comes into play over the holy city of Jerusalem, which is a place of significance for three world religions, the fear is that tensions in the region may evolve into a larger conflict.

“It is therefore surprising that both Muslim and Christian societies remain silent on this matter. The Jerusalem issue cannot be presented solely as a political question – it is both a religious and an existential issue for Muslims. However, on this matter of vital importance, the response of Muslim states has been insufficient – representatives of Muslim countries have not done justice to the gravity of this situation.

“I speak as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for a state which is currently struggling for its own existence and recognition in this region.

The same frustration that Muslim states have caused for us in our own struggle for existence has unfortunately manifested itself in Jerusalem. This disregard does not make anyone stronger. I did not expect this. However, this stance has unfortunately been seen in Jerusalem.

“This land is shared by everyone in the world who says ’I am a Muslim. This is something that all Muslims should honour.

“I also wish to emphasise the following: Turkey is the only country in the Islamic World and the only leader who is engaging with this struggle fearlessly and sincerely, and I think that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s sincere efforts will be recorded in the annals of history.

“Islamic countries must develop a real, sincere and collective solution in practice for our shared problems. Interventions of others in Muslim communities will not solve any problems – on the contrary, they will only exacerbate them. These tensions also create fresh opportunities for the rise of terrorist organizations. We must trust ourselves and act together.

“Furthermore, President Trump’s decision on the Jerusalem issue will neither benefit those who took the decision, nor will it benefit those who expect to gain from the decision. Reversing the decision immediately is what will bring prosperity to the region.

“I want to stress once again that US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is unacceptable, and I reiterate my request for the reversal of this decision.”

Following the convening of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, the Extraordinary Summit will continue with further meetings between OIC Heads of State and Government.

Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu will also attend a luncheon following the summit, which will be hosted by Turkish President Erdoğan in honour of the leaders present. Minister Ertuğruloğlu will be accompanied by Foreign Ministry General Director Kemal Köprülü and is expected to return to the island today.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office