Erdoğan hopes to open Turkish embassy in East Jerusalem


Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 18 December 2017| 29 Rabi ul Awal 1439

Turkey intends to open an embassy in East Jerusalem, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders for the world to recognise it as the capital of a Palestinian state.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit was a response to the US president, Donald Trump’s decision earlier this month to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. His move broke with decades of US policy and international consensus that the city’s status must be left to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Erdoğan said in a speech to members of his AK party in Turkey’s southern province of Karaman that the country’s consulate general in Jerusalem was already represented by an ambassador.

“God willing, the day is close when officially, with God’s permission, we will open our embassy there,” Erdoğan said.

It was not clear how he would carry out the move, as Israel controls all of Jerusalem and calls the city its indivisible capital. Palestinians want the capital of a future state they seek to be in East Jerusalem, which Israel took in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally.

Jerusalem, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, is home to Islam’s third holiest shrine as well as Judaism’s Western Wall – both in the eastern sector – and has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.

Foreign embassies in Israel, including Turkey’s, are located in Tel Aviv, reflecting Jerusalem’s unresolved status.

A communique issued after Wednesday’s summit of more than 50 Muslim countries, including US allies, said they considered Trump’s move to be a declaration that Washington was withdrawing from its role “as sponsor of peace” in the Middle East.

Source – The guardian