Bihter Okutan
Dec 14 2017

U.S. can no longer mediate in Israel–Palestine conflict - Erdoğan

The 57 countries of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) responded to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by announcing they would recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

At the end of the meeting, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a swipe at the U.S. president.

"Lord Trump, we told you that the Jerusalem decision would have substantial consequences," he said, flanked by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and OIC General Secretary Dr. Youssef A. Al-Othaimeen.

Erdoğan told a news conference he had been warning Trump since before the U.S. formal announcement, adding that Trump's decision was illegitimate and violated U.N. resolutions and international law.

The Turkish president said the United States could no longer be a mediator between Israel and Palestine and Trump’s decision would be a blow to peacekeeping efforts.

“Trump, are you standing behind this Israel? There is an occupation there, there is terror. Are you defending this place?” Erdoğan asked. “We will continue our fight until the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is over and until the U.S. administration changes course.”

Faruk Loğoğlu, a former Turkish ambassador to the United States, said there was consensus amongst the international community that the status of Jerusalem could only be determined through peaceful negotiations.

“Both Trump and the OIC's decision are against this agreed principle,” Loğoğlu told Ahval. "It is unclear how many of the Muslim countries have recognised the Palestinian state. This declaration is an inevitable and perhaps justified political move. It is a balancing political decision against the United States’ decision."