Turkey is at the forefront of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) campaign against President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Many heads of states and top representatives of the 57-member OIC, a loosely aligned bloc comprising Muslims nations, descended on Istanbul on Wednesday, 13 December, to formulate a response to Trump's decision.
"Firstly, the Palestinian state must be recognised by all other countries. We must all strive together for this," said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as the meeting got underway.
The OIC, of which Turkey is the current president, is meeting at a time the Muslim world is seething over Trump's decision on Jerusalem, a city considered holy by Israelis and Palestinians. Various Islamic entities have been calling for a Palestinian intifada or uprising.
"We, who recognise East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital, must encourage other countries to [also] recognise Palestine on the basis of its 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital," said Cavusoglu. "We've gathered here in order to stop the persecution. The US has deeply wounded humanity's conscience. Israel is aiming to legitimise its occupation attempt. This US decision is null and void for us."
Following the summit, which is taking place at Turkey's request, Muslim nations are expected to take a firm position jointly against the US. An Istanbul Declaration, spelling out the course of action is likely to be issued. The Turkish foreign minister pledged there will be a "strong message" to Trump after the conference.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, and Bangladeshi President Abdoul Hamid are among the leaders participating in the summit, chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan, had earlier warned that Jerusalem would be a "red line" for Muslims. He had also called Israel a "terrorist state" which "kills children".