Dec 21 2017

Turkey angry over U.S. pressure on UN Jerusalem vote

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday urged the United Nations General Assembly to declare “invalid” the U.S. veto of a draft UN resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The United Nations General Assembly is expected to hold a rare emergency session on the status of Jerusalem on Thursday.

“Not only Muslims but also Christians are very disturbed by the U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua quoted Çavuşoğlu as saying at a joint news conference with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in Istanbul.

Çavuşoğlu then left for meetings in the United States.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, earlier tweeted that the “U.S. will be taking names” of those criticising its veto at the UN.

Responding to Haley, Çavuşoğlu asked:

“What are you going to do after taking the names? Are you going to punish those countries too? The world rebels against injustice now. No dignified state will submit to such repression. Nobody will bow to this pressure.”

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” Trump tweeted. “Well, we’re watching those votes.”

“Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care,” Trump said, implying that the United States would cut off international aid to those countries not falling into line on the vote.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ roundly condemned what he saw as Trump’s violation of other countries’ sovereignties.

“U.S. President Trump's threat to countries that vote against the U.S. on Jerusalem is not acceptable,” he tweeted. “The U.S. must know that it cannot direct all of the sovereign countries with pressure and threats as it wants. Tomorrow’s vote is an opportunity for this.”

A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman also condemned what he called a U.S. “threat” on Twitter.

“Becoming strong is not enough to be right,” Mahir Ünal tweeted. “Also justice can not be seized by blackmail. And it is not a concept that can be removed.”

After Trump’s decision this month, Turkey called an emergency summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Dec. 13, which called on nations to declare East Jerusalem the capital of Palestine “under occupation”.

Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognise Israel in 1949.

 

 

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