Free Press Journal

Turkey joins US allies in warning Prez Trump


Ankara : Turkey on Tuesday joined a growing chorus of key Washington allies in warning US President Donald Trump about the perils of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, describing it as a “fatal mistake” that would spark fresh conflict in the Middle East.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that a reported plan for such recognition, in whole or in part, would be a “red line for Turkey” and could lead to Ankara cutting diplomatic ties with Israel, CNN reported.

“As the temporary president of the Islamic Cooperation Organisation, we will follow this issue very closely,” Erdogan said at his party’s weekly meeting in the Turkish capital.

In a series of tweets earlier on Tuesday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin described the reported plan as “a fatal mistake … such a move would undermine all peace efforts and trigger new tensions and conflicts”.

The announcement, expected this week, would fulfil a Trump campaign promise — one made by previous US Presidents.  It was later set aside due to regional concerns and Jerusalem’s contested status between Israelis and Palestinians, both of which claim the holy city as their capital. Saudi Arabia also expressed its concern over Trump mulling the imminent relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and formal recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.

The kingdom reiterated its support for the Palestinian people in asserting their legitimate rights and in establishing an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, the Saudi Press Agency reported.The US “step, if taken, will be in contradiction of the principle of not affecting final status negotiations and contradicts international resolutions that emphasize the historical and firm rights of the Palestinian people regarding Jerusalem”, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.”