Turkey 'concerned' about AIPAC speeches on Jerusalem

Turkey 'concerned' about AIPAC speeches on Jerusalem

ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
Turkey concerned about AIPAC speeches on Jerusalem

Turkey on March 25 voiced concern over speeches of some country leaders about moving their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting in Washington on March 24.

“We are concerned by the irresponsible statements made by the leaders of certain states at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), held yesterday [March 24] in Washington, about moving their Embassies in Israel to Jerusalem,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.

Aksoy stressed that the relocation by any country of its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would “constitute a clear violation of international law”.

“The annexation of Jerusalem by Israel has been rejected by the international community and the United Nations (UN).

“It was repeatedly underlined by various UN resolutions that the question of Palestine could only be solved by the establishment of an independent, sovereign and the contiguous State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.

Aksoy called on all countries to “comply with the UN Resolutions on this matter, to respect the historical and legal status of Jerusalem and to refrain from acts that would further destabilize our region.”

U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6, 2017, triggering world outcry and it relocated its embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May, 2018. Guatemala has followed the U.S. suit, relocating its embassy to the occupied city.

Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem – now occupied by Israel - might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Golan Heights

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan touched upon the President Donald Trump’s statement about the Golan Heights during a live interview on a private broadcaster on March 24, saying that Turkey will take the issue to the United Nations.

Drawing attention to the United Nations resolution on the issue, Erdoğan noted that the European Union had also issued statements against Trump’s remarks. Erdoğan said that he will also voice the issue to Trump when they hold a talk.

The Turkish president said Trump’s statement on Golan Heights was a “gift” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of elections there.

“We call this the friendship of imperialism and Zionism. And, this friendship threatens not only the regional but also the global peace. It is weakness and a betrayal to humanity to develop policies through blood and occupation,” he said. 

Trump moved on March 21 to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the territory seized in war, marking a dramatic shift in U.S. policy.

In a speech at a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on March 22, Erdoğan said the legitimization of the occupation of the Golan Heights cannot be allowed.

Jerusalem, Israel, United States, Turkey, Turkish Foreign Ministry