Trump's Middle East peace plan a declaration of war, says Turkey spokesman

U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan is a declaration of war aiming to allow Israel to annex Palestinian lands, the Hürriyet newspaper on Monday quoted a Turkish presidential spokesman as saying.

Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become an outspoken critic of Israel and a supporter of the Palestinian cause. After Trump's announcement, Erdoğan called on European countries, as well as the Arab League, to stand against the peace plan.

Trump’s plan, unveiled last week, promises to keep Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital, proposes an independent Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements.

"Those who prepared the plan know very well that it cannot be implemented. Their goals are to save time and expand the occupied areas in the meantime. This is a declaration of war, not a peace plan," Erdoğan’s director of communications, Fahrettin Altun, told the newspaper.

The proposed plan strongly favours Israeli priorities rather than seeing both sides make significant concessions, Altun said.

"The plan not only makes the Palestinian issue unsolvable, but also renders international law and treaties dysfunctional and worthless for global organisations such as the United Nations. This is not only a problem for the Palestinian people," he said.

European countries should also take responsibility for finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the plan risks deepening the crisis in the Middle East and that would also negatively affect the West.

"Every step that feeds instability in the Middle East will feed the security problems in the EU and European countries," he said.