Thursday Dec 07, 2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain to discuss US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Turkish media reported on Thursday.
The two leaders talked about the implications of the decision, which prompted an almost universal diplomatic backlash and fears of new bloodshed in the Middle East as Trump’s announcement ended seven decades of US ambiguity on the status of Jerusalem, which is vociferously claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.
President Erdogan, in his call to President Mamnoon, pointed out that there would be no lasting peace in the Middle East unless an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, with Eastern Jerusalem as capital under the borders of 1967, is formed, local media said.
Erdogan also discussed the issue with the leaders of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia, Tunisia and Sudan earlier.
Later in Ankara, Erdogan said Trump’s Jerusalem move would put the region in a "ring of fire".
"Taking this type of step puts the world, especially the region, in a ring of fire. Hey Trump, what do you want to do? What kind of approach is this? Political leaders do not stir things up, they seek to make peace," Erdogan said.
Trump, in his announcement Wednesday, also kicked off the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, making good on a campaign promise dear to evangelical Christian and right-wing Jewish voters - as well as donors.
He said his decision marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the thorny conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The announcement left many angry US allies and leaders across the Middle East trying to find a measured response and hoping that the tinderbox region is not destined for yet another round of bloodletting.
Hundreds of Palestinians burned US and Israeli flags as well as pictures of Trump in the Gaza Strip, while relatively small clashes erupted near the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron.
The Palestinian movement Hamas threatened to launch a new "intifada," or uprising. Palestinians, meanwhile, called for three days of protests - or "days of rage" - starting Wednesday.
Pakistan termed the United States’ move to shift its embassy to the occupied city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, as illegal and a clear violation of the international law and UN Security Council resolutions.
“The step would constitute a clear violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions particularly UNSCR 478 of 1980 and it would also sidestep decades of global consensus on this issue, undermine regional peace and security as well as derail any prospects for a lasting peace in the Middle East,” a press release from the Foreign Office stated.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also condemned the US move, saying that by moving the embassy, “[the] US will practically alter the status of Jerusalem. An affront to Palestinians and the Muslim world.. practically burying the two states solutions.. Will add another wound to already bleeding body of Muslim Ummah," he wrote on Twitter.
Speaking on Geo News' programme ‘Aapas Ki Baat’ later, the minister said that "the sanctity of Al-Quds for Muslims is not hidden from anyone" and that "not only are the Palestinians a target of this wound but the entire Muslim world."