ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain to discuss US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Turkish media reported today.
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.
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”.-Online