MIDDLE EAST

Turkey taking ‘strongest’ stance against Jerusalem move

TURKEY TAKING ‘STRONGEST’ STANCE AGAINST JERUSALEM MOVE

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has come out "the strongest" against Washington's reported intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a leading Palestinian official said Wednesday.

"The Turkish president's position [in opposition to the move] was the strongest to be heard by the Palestinian leadership," Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Anadolu Agency.

"We are leaving all options on the table in terms of our response to U.S. plans to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moving its embassy to the city," Shaath said.

With such a move, Shaath said, the U.S. "is effectively removing itself from the [Israel-Palestine] peace process as it no longer acts as an honest broker".

The Palestinian leadership, he added, was now thinking about withdrawing Palestinian recognition of Israel and lodging a formal appeal aimed at blocking the move with the UN Security Council and General Assembly.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

The Palestinians, for their part, hope to one day establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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