Tokayev Addresses Emergency OIC Summit on Jerusalem’s Status

On behalf of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chair of the Senate (upper chamber) of the Kazakh Parliament Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took part in an emergency Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) convened Dec. 13 in Istanbul. The summit urged world leaders to “recognise the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”

Turkey currently chairs the OIC and its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened the emergency summit.

Speaking at the summit, Tokayev noted that Kazakhstan supports strict observance by all countries of the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly regarding the status of East Jerusalem as an integral part of the State of Palestine. According to the Senate Speaker, the United Nations is a non-alternative organisation, therefore, the global community must respect its decisions.

“Kazakhstan welcomes all peacekeeping efforts aimed at the final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the establishment of a comprehensive peace in the region,” he said.

He also stressed that the great city of Jerusalem will always remain the focal point of the main shrines of the three main religions. The Senate Speaker highlighted it is necessary to realise that Jerusalem is the property of all humankind, and people have the right to live in this sacred place in peace and mutual understanding.

“In this regard, Kazakhstan stands for maintaining the current status of al-Quds [Jerusalem] determined by the UN. Our position is to unite the efforts of all states interested in strengthening the Middle East peace,” he said.

Tokayev noted the necessity of resuming talks over the Middle East peace process based on the two-state solution bilaterally between Palestine and Israel and within the Middle East Quartet (comprised of Russia, the U.S., the EU and the UN).

He also referred to “The World. The 21st Century” manifesto by the Kazakh President and noted Kazakhstan’s contribution to developing a peace dialogue and strengthening security in the Middle East. He stressed the significant role of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions and the Astana Process on Syria in this process.

Tokayev drew the attention of the summit participants to the initiative of Islamic Rapprochement put forward by the leaders of Kazakhstan and Turkey in Istanbul in April last year, which, with proper implementation, can become a platform for the unity and cooperation of the Muslim Ummah.

“Overcoming disagreements between states and religions in the Islamic community would be a decisive factor in its transformation into a zone of peace, stability and successful development,” the Senate Chair stated.

Representatives of 48 countries took part in the summit. Sixteen countries were represented by heads of state (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Qatar, Somalia, Sudan, Togo and Yemen). Djibouti, Malaysia and Pakistan were represented at the level of prime ministers; the Comoros were represented by its Secretary of State, and Oman – by its Vice Prime Minister. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan participated at the level of parliament speakers.