US has lost its status as mediator in Middle East peace process with embassy move: Erdoğan
The U.S. has lost its status as a potential mediator in the Middle East peace process with its decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on May 14.
“[The U.S. decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem] is unfortunate. We cannot help but feel like we are living through the dark times prior to World War II,” Erdoğan said at an event at the Chatham House think tank in London.
‘US administration responsible for massacre’
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also said on May 14 that Washington “shares responsibility” with Israel for the “massacre” along the Gaza border that left at least 37 Palestinians dead as a result of Israeli fire.
“The U.S. administration is just as responsible as the Israeli government for this massacre,” Bozdağ wrote on Twitter, saying the incidents were caused by “unjust and unlawful decisions” as the United States moves its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Condemning is not enough: FM
Condemning the killings on the Gaza-Israel border is not enough and joint steps must be taken, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on the same day.
Çavuşoğlu also called for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League to show a stronger joint stance on Palestine issue.
Turkish Foreign Ministry also condemned the killings.
“We strongly condemn the decision of the U.S. administration to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem violating international law and all relevant U.N. Resolutions. We reiterate that this action is legally null and void. We emphasize that such a step which disregards the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people will not serve peace, security and stability in the region,” the ministry said in a written statement on May 14.
The ministry recalled that resolutions by the Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations General Assembly demonstrated that the U.S.’s decision on Jerusalem had been rejected by the international community.
“The U.S. administration will be fully responsible for the repercussions of the said decision which runs the risk of eroding the parameters established during the peace process. We curse the massacre carried out by Israeli security forces encouraged by this step on the Palestinians participating in peaceful demonstrations,” it added.
“Neither regional nor global peace and stability will be viable unless the Palestinian question is settled through a lasting and just solution and unfair treatments towards Palestinian people cease,” it added, stressing Turkey’s determination to “continue to work with the responsible members of the international community to revive the peace process on a sound basis and build a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace in the region,” the statement said.
‘East Jerusalem is the Palestinian capital’
Meanwhile, Erdoğan said on May 13 that East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine despite all steps taken to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Speaking at a dinner organized by the TURKEN Foundation in London, Erdoğan said 128 countries voted clearly against the U.S.’s decision to relocate its embassy at the U.N. General Assembly.
He said “only a few countries voted with the U.S.” as they were told to do so in various phone calls in return for financial aid.
“Jerusalem, above all, East Jerusalem, is the capital of Palestine. As the Islamic world, we accept this as it is,” Erdoğan added.