Aoun Vows to 'Defend' Jerusalem at Istanbul Islamic Summitإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Aoun has vowed to “defend” Jerusalem at an emergency summit for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation that he will attend in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Aoun will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil and a number of diplomats and will deliver Lebanon's address at the summit.
“Lebanon heads tomorrow to the Istanbul conference on the city of Jerusalem, and it has the will to defend this city which contains the heritage of Christian and Muslim history,” Aoun told his visitors on Tuesday, stressing that “Lebanon insists on Jerusalem's Arab identity and on it being the capital of the state of Palestine.”
Emphasizing the importance of “Lebanon's presence at international forums and conferences and the role it can play through its active diplomacy and effective foreign policy,” the president said “Lebanon can play a role in dousing the raging blazes in the region.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for the OIC summit in Istanbul to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his decision to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
Turkey currently holds the chairmanship of the OIC.
Erdogan has warned that the status of Jerusalem is a "red line" for Muslims and could even prompt Turkey to cut ties with Israel.
The Istanbul summit of the OIC -- an organization founded in 1969 after an arson attack on the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem -- will offer Erdogan the chance to showcase his status as a global Muslim leader.
But it remains unclear if he will be able to come close to shifting the 57 members -- including arch foes like Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia --- into anything resembling a coordinated position.