| 07.12,17. 01:13 AM |
Turkey to host meeting on Jerusalem
Turkey will host an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Dec. 13 to discuss the U.S.’s planned recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The OIC consists of 57 Muslim states spread across the globe and the decision to hold the unscheduled meeting came after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to leaders from Malaysia, Tunisia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia, spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.
U.S. President Donald Trump is widely expected to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday and begin preparations to move the U.S. Embassy to the city.
Kalin told a news conference in Ankara that the U.S. should back down from a “grave mistake” over Jerusalem’s status.
He reiterated Erdogan’s earlier remarks that Jerusalem’s status was a “red line” for Turkey.
“Jerusalem’s current status should be preserved,” Kalin added.
“It is true that it is necessary for steps to be taken in order to prevent the grave mistake of introducing Jerusalem as the property of Israel.”
He promised that the president would continue to press the Palestinian issue.
World leaders have been near unanimous in warning against a change in the status of Jerusalem.
The city, which is holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that its eastern part -- which was occupied by Israel in 1967 -- might serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city Israel has maintained is the capital of its “undivided” state.
The decision would reverse decades of American policy and block any effort to resume long-stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinians.