Turkey warns possible US move to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital will be a 'disaster'
An expected move this week by United States President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would be a “disaster” for the region, Turkish government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ said on Dec. 4.
“If other steps are taken for Jerusalem, whose status is under protection by international agreements, the outcome will be disaster,” Bozdağ said, speaking after a cabinet meeting.
Such a move would “entirely abolish the peace process” and “pave the way for new uneasiness,” he said, adding that unforeseen and open ended incidents could come up.
Neither Israelis nor Palestinians nor others would benefit from such a move, the spokesperson said.
“International agreements and United Nations resolutions require the protection of Jerusalem’s status, and the U.N. has a separate commitment to maintain this status. Turkey reminds everyone once again of their responsibilities and commitments at this point,” he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a phone conversation with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over the issue, Bozdağ stated.
During his election campaign, Trump repeatedly pledged to move the embassy. There are signs the U.S. president will make a statement on Wednesday announcing Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel while holding off on moving the embassy.
Trump has not yet made a decision on whether to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said on Dec. 3, a move that would break with decades of U.S. policy and could fuel violence in the Middle East.
The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. If the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it would reinforce Israel’s position that settlements in the east are valid Israeli communities, which are considered illegal under international law.