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Prominent Arab Leaders Skip OIC Meeting

Photo: Middle East Monitor

Participation of top level leaders were expected when Erdogan convened a meeting of OIC to discuss the Jerusalem issue. However, only 16 out of 57 heads of state were present at the summit in Istanbul.

Many countries sent lower-level ministers and officials to represent them, the response was shocking as the issue is supposed to be one of the most important matters for Arabs and Muslims.

Kuwaiti political analyst Ayed Al-Manaa said that some countries were not interested in the summit, while others did not want to risk their relationship with the US. They feared that the OIC would rebuke US President Donald Trump over his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“We can understand the absence of Egypt due to the position of the Turkish president regarding the Egyptian military coup,” explained Al-Manaa, “but the absence of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE is not understood.”

He noted that this was probably due to the Qatar issue, which was also likely to be the reason why the leaders of those countries did not attend the Gulf States’ summit held recently in Kuwait.

The analyst pointed out that Saudi Arabia was the destination of the first overseas visit made by Trump after becoming US President. “We also must not forget that Egypt is still in need of US support,” he added.

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