Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, asserted that the issue of Palestine and al-Quds is the OIC's raison d'être, pivotal cause, and source of unity and strength. "It is at the heart of the OIC's joint Islamic action and the main consensus of all Member States, which all endeavor to end the Israeli occupation and help the Palestinian people realize their legitimate rights," stated al-Othaimeen.
The Secretary-General confirmed that he had conducted many consultations with various stakeholders and what transpired is that the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, with all its elements and natural sequence as adopted by the various Islamic Summits and successive Councils of Foreign Ministers (CFM), constitutes a strategic choice, a historical opportunity, and a common reference. "Any just and comprehensive peaceful solution geared towards ending the Arab-Israeli conflict must thus take it as a springboard," reiterated Al-Othaimeen.
He affirmed that the OIC adheres to peace, which will always remain a strategic choice based on international law, international legitimacy decisions, the Arab Peace Initiative, and the vision of the two-state solution. "The peace process is an indivisible whole and normalizing the relations between Member States and the Israeli occupation state will never take place until after the end of the Israeli occupation of the Arab and Palestinian lands occupied since 1967, including al-Quds, and the establishment of the viable Palestinian State with East al-Quds as its capital. "The OIC supports all efforts exerted to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable national rights, including the right of return, self-determination, and the establishment of their independent and sovereign state on the borders of June 4, 1967," added Al-Othaimeen.
The Secretary-General also affirmed the illegality of any Israeli unilateral measures to annex Palestinian lands and build settlements that aim to change the political and legal situation on the Palestinian land under Israeli occupation and undermine the two-state solution. "The resolutions of the recent Islamic Summit and the OIC's Executive Committee at the level of foreign ministers rejected any measures that may affect the historical, legal, or political status quo of East al-Quds. They also rejected the Israeli annexation plan for parts of the occupied lands of the State of Palestine. They reiterated that such illegal actions would undermine the chances of peace based on the two-state solution," concluded the OIC's Secretary-General noting that Member States appreciate any efforts aimed at stopping these unilateral measures.
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