Erdogan, Saudis Warn That Recognizing Jerusalem As Capital Would Be A “Red Line”, Have “Catastrophic Consequences”
Two weeks ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won an important concession from President Donald Trump when, in a phone call, Erdogan coaxed a promise from his American partner to stop arming US-backed Kurdish resistance fighters in Syria. But that gesture of goodwill could be swiftly forgotten if Trump follows through with a plan to officially declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel – an act that Erdogan and many other Muslim leaders have said would be a “red line” that could force Turkey and several other Muslim states to break off diplomatic relations with Israel.
In a speech, Erdogan said the recognition of Jerusalem by the US would force Turkey to call an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit and consider severing ties with Israel.
“Jerusalem is the red line for Muslims. Such a decision will be a heavy blow for all mankind. We will not leave it. We will fight to the end. We may even reach a severance of diplomatic relations with Israel. I once again warn the United States not to take steps that will further deepen the crisis in the region,” Erdogan said.
Israel has long claimed Jerusalem as its capital. The city hosts much of the infrastructure of the Israeli government. But the ancient city – which contains the venerated Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam – is also viewed as the logical capital of a Palestinian state. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as their rightful capital, while Israeli’s claim the whole city, according to the Telegraph.
In addition, Erdogan said he would convene a summit meeting of countries of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation to oppose the US’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most world powers recognize Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, and no embassies are presently based in Jerusalem.
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