The Maldives today expressed its solidarity with the State of Palestine condemned the decision by the United States Government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Speaking at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Extraordinary Summit, the Head of Maldives Delegation His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Muizzu, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure said that the actions by the United States to recognize Jerusalem and its decision to relocate its embassy from Tel-Aviv would have dire consequences for the long-term peace, security and stability in the region.

In his remarks, Minister Muizzu highlighted that Muslims around the world have a deep devotion and a spiritual connection with Jerusalem, considered a Holy City in Islam. Jerusalem was later occupied by Israel in 1967 following the Six Day War. He also alluded to the fact that Israel continues to build illegal settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem in contravention of international law, and in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and numerous UN Security Council resolutions.

Minister Muizz reiterated that the Maldives has consistently supported the struggle of the Palestinian people to establish a sovereign and independent state in their homeland, with East Jerusalem as its capital. It is an issue that the Maldives takes extremely seriously, and is fervently embraced by the Maldivian people. Minister Muizz also mentioned that the Maldives would continue to seek international support and recognition for a Palestinian State in all international fora and multilateral platforms.

The President of Turkey H.E. Mr. Recep Erdoğan who chaired the meeting today, had called for an urgent Extraordinary Session at the highest level to discuss the implications to the Middle East peace process and also to the State of Palestine, following the controversial U.S. decision which was taken on the 6th of December 2017. The gathering of the 57 predominantly Muslim countries of the world to exclusively discuss the issue of Jerusalem was a display of unity, in calling for the U.S. decision to be null and void, and to take further measures to ensure that the world rejects the change in status-quo and any unilateral decision on final status issues. The Maldives considers East Jerusalem as Occupied Palestinian Territory, and supports the two-state solution to the Question of Palestine. It reaffirms that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future sovereign Palestinian State, with secure and recognized borders based on the 1967 Green Lines.

The Maldives Delegation to the OIC is comprised of H.E. Mr. Mohamed Muizz, Minister of Housing and Infrastructure, Mr. Javed Faizal, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ms. Aishath Fareena, Desk Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.