Philadelphia, December 14, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela issued a statement on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Wednesday denouncing the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“We categorically reject the unilateral and extremist actions of the United States government against the noble Palestinian people,” declared Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, speaking during the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul.
The Venezuelan head of state was present at the conference in his capacity as pro tempore president of the NAM, a historic bloc of 125 nations of the global South committed to self-determination and independence from great powers.
Maduro likewise voiced the body’s solidarity with the people of Palestine.
“The Movement of Non-Aligned countries reaffirms its… firm commitment to continue supporting the heroic Palestinian people in their effort to achieve their inalienable rights and legitimate national aspirations, including their right to self-determination, freedom and independence in their State, with Jerusalem as the capital city,” he declared.
Maduro’s statements come in response to the Trump administration’s announcement last week that his government would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate its embassy accordingly.
The moved marked a break with the White House’s official position on the issue for decades, which formally committed the US to upholding international legal statutes calling for the end of Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.
Notwithstanding Washington’s official support for a two-state solution, critics have long accused successive US administrations of giving the Israeli government carte blanche to pursue its expansion of illegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands.
Trump’s decision provoked an international backlash, with international actors ranging from the European Union and the Vatican to China and Russia raising their voices in protest.
At the summit, the 57 countries conforming the OIC issued a joint statement calling for an end to Israeli occupation and holding the Trump administration responsible for “all the consequences of not retracting from this illegal decision [to move the US embassy to Jerusalem].”
“[We] consider that this dangerous declaration, which aims to change the legal status of the [city], is null and void and lacks any legitimacy,” the group affirmed.
The event marks the second time that Venezuela has participated in the summit. This past September, the South American nation requested to enter the OIC as a member-observer.