Morocco: Reaction of Islamic world to 'deal of the century' was definitively negative — envoy

Ramazan Abdulatipov

RABAT, February 14. /TASS/: The reaction of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the Israeli-Palestinian settlement plan proposed by the United States — the so-called "deal of the century" — was definitively negative, Russia's Permanent Representative to the OIC Ramazan Abdulatipov told TASS on Thursday.

"When the US Administration announced 'the deal of the century' for the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, the reaction of the OIC was definitively negative. First of all, the OIC stated that this was unacceptable. And this is something the OIC does not say often, by the way," Abdulatipov pointed out.

"The session of the OIC Executive Committee was recently held with participation of ministers of the member countries. I attended that session as well. Palestine's foreign minister made a speech there, and his main thesis was that no Muslim countries should support 'the deal of the century'. A corresponding resolution was adopted after the session of the Executive Committee," he added.

"An amendment was then added to the document by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who said that this issue should be discussed at the UN. Thus, the Arab Muslim world withstood a challenge and showed unity on the approaches toward 'the deal of the century'," Abdulatipov continued.

"In general, the position has been determined, and since those countries are members of the OIC, they need to take into account the decision made by the OIC, especially the decision made at the level of the Executive Committee. However, one cannot deny that some countries may have their own views. Even more so, there are regrettably several Muslim countries that are very dependent on the United States," he noted.

"In general, though, I will stress this again, that I was pleasantly surprised by the unanimity of the OIC regarding 'the deal of the century'. The member countries came together at a decisive moment, even though they have major disagreements," he concluded.

‘Deal of the century’

US President Donald Trump revealed the key provisions of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on January 28. The plan seeks to achieve a peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians, which is based on mutual recognition of the two states. The US proposes connecting the Palestinian territories in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by high-speed railway, while recognizing only a part of East Jerusalem as the Arab state’s capital (Netanyahu said that Jerusalem’s Abu Dis neighborhood is meant to become the capital). At the same time, the US leader described Jerusalem as Israel’s "undivided capital" and announced the US intention to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jewish settlements founded on Palestinian territories.

As a condition for the peace process, the US leader said that Palestinian authorities should cease supporting Hamas, the radical movement operating in the Gaza Strip, as well as renounce all means of armed aggression. To advance the settlement process, the US promises that the deal would bring in $50 billion in investments which would particularly be allocated to create new jobs for Palestinians and as compensation for lost homes.

Netanyahu backed Trump’s plan and expressed willingness to immediately engage in peace talks with Palestinians. Abbas rejected the White House’s proposals, branding them as a plot, while Hamas slammed the plan, saying that it is not worth the ink it is printed in.

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