U.S. recognition of Jerusalem only benefits terrorists, Erdoğan says


Turkish President Erdoğan on Wednesday made comments over U.S. decision regarding recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's embassy, saying that "Any steps to change Jerusalem's legal status should be avoided. Such a step would only play into the hands of terrorist organizations."

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would only benefit terrorist organizations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday.

Speaking in a joint news conference with Jordanian King Abdullah, Erdoğan said that Turkey and Jordan shared the same views regarding the status of Jerusalem.

"The wrong step [expected] be taken regarding Jerusalem's status will be the cause of indignation in the Islamic world. It will [undermine]the foundation for peace and will light the wick of new works," Erdoğan said, adding that peace and security in the Middle East cannot be sacrificed for the sake of domestic politics.

The president reiterated that leaders of the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will meet in Istanbul on Dec. 13, urging the Islamic world to act as one regarding the Jerusalem issue.

"I want to make the following call to the whole world from here: any steps to change Jerusalem's legal status should be avoided. Such a step would only play into the hands of terrorist organizations," he said.

Erdoğan stressed that the U.S.' possible recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital was not only against numerous U.N. resolutions, but also to the centuries-old multi-cultural character of the city.

Turkish president on Wednesday said that an independent Palestine with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital is necessary for stability in the Middle East.

"No steps that will change Jerusalem's status, designated by UN decisions, should be taken," President Erdoğan told reporters during a joint news conference with King Abdullah II in Ankara.

"No one has the right to play with the destiny of billions of people for fulfilling personal ambitions," Erdoğan added.

Turkey has strongly reacted against the decision and warned the U.S., while President Erdoğan warned the country could cut diplomatic relations with Israel.

U.S. President Donald Trump is widely expected to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital in a Wednesday address in a move that has already drawn widespread condemnation across the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Many critics say the move would put the U.S. at odds with the international community, reverse decades of U.S. Middle East policy, and stymy efforts to restart the stalled Israel-Palestine peace process.​

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 establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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