Turkey Steps-up to Lead the Muslim World As Saudis Choose to Remain Mute

Following yesterday’s move by the United States vetoing a draft resolution sponsored by Muslim countries that called for the UN Security Council to reject recent US moves recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, Turkey, the main sponsor of the resolution is now shifting its focus to the entire UN General Assembly.

Turkey will now lead the charge in the General Assembly for the entire body to vote on nullifying what Muslim countries are referring to as a ‘divisive and unhelpful’ move on the part of the US for the Middle East peace process. According to Diplomats knowledgeable in UN matters, a two-third vote in the General Assembly will be enough to show that the world rejects the US recognition.

However, Turkey is said to be putting to bear all its diplomatic influence to see to it that the UN General Assembly resolution seeking to nullify the US decision gets many more votes beyond the minimum two-third votes of the 193 member chamber.

According to a Turkish diplomat, Turkey and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) have already secured the two-third votes but are working tirelessly to increase it. Since President Trump broke with protocol and went ahead recognizing Jerusalem as the ‘eternal capital’ of Israel almost two weeks ago, Turkey has been leading criticisms on the current shifts in US diplomatic policy.

Turkey’s bold and unequivocal stance on Palestine has emboldened other countries in the region to also speak in support of the Palestinian people. Egypt, Jordan, Iran and many OIC member states have clearly aligned themselves to the cause of the Palestinian people, with the exception of one key player, Saudi Arabia.

Middle East analysts have pointed out that not even one rally in support of the Palestinian people occurred in the Kingdom since the US recognition of Jerusalem. Middle East watchers have also pointed out that in a time of crisis for the Middle East and the Muslim world; Saudi Arabia has failed to step up in the leadership role that many expected the Kingdom to take.

In the absence of support from the Saudi population, clergy and leadership, Turkey has comfortably led the Muslim countries in the issue of Palestine. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has emerged as the man leading the bidding for the Muslim Ummah, this while the Saudi elite; both religious and political continue to stay mute.

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