Trump declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital is a ‘red line’ for Muslims: Erdogan

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said President Donald Trump’s plan to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel is a “red line” for Muslims and could see him breaking off diplomatic relations with the country.

Jerusalem is home to major Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

It quickly annexed it, declaring the whole of the city as its capital in a move which has not been recognized internationally.

Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and the international community argues the city’s status must be determined in peace talks.

Mr Erdogan told parliament his country’s response “could go as far as us cutting diplomatic ties with Israel.”

He also said he would convene a summit meeting of countries of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to oppose any move recognizing Jerusalem.

The diplomatic adviser of President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian leadership would “stop contacts” with the United States if Mr Trump recognized Jerusalem and Israel’s capital.

Majdi Khaldi said the US would lose credibility as a mediator in the Middle East if the US President went ahead with the move.

Meanwhile, senior U.S. officials say Trump is likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Wednesday and delay embassy relocation for another six months, yet begin planning the move immediately, report Israeli paper Haaretz.

Trump told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah that he plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Tuesday, according to Abbas’ spokesman and Jordanian reports. Trump also called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi to inform him of the decision.

Following the call, Abbas urged the Pope and the leaders of Russia, France and Jordan to intervene against Trump’s declared intention to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

During the call with Trump, Abbas warned that the action will have “dangerous consequences,” said Abbas’ spokesman, adding that “the Palestinian stance is determined and steadfast – there will not be a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital according to decisions by the international community.”

Abdullah also warned Trump of the decision’s repercussions on Middle East security and stability. Abdullah pledged he would thwart any American initiative to renew the peace process and would encourage resistance among Muslims and Christians alike.

Leaders of the Middle East and Europe have expressed serious concern about Trump’s looming decision on Jerusalem.

The official Saudi Press Agency, citing a foreign ministry source said: “Saudi Arabia (expresses) grave and deep concern over reports that the US administration intends to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem.”

“This step will have serious implications and will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It will also obstruct the ongoing efforts to revive the peace process.”

The European Union also warned of possible “serious repercussions” if US President Donald Trump decides to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the US embassy there.

The EU, which supports a two-state solution to the conflict, warned against doing anything that would jeopardize the peace process.

“Since early this year, the European Union was clear in its expectation that there can be reflection on the consequences that any decision or unilateral action affecting Jerusalem’s status could have,” EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini’s office said in a statement.

“It might have serious repercussions on public opinion in large parts of the world,” it added. “The focus should therefore remain on the efforts to restart the peace process and avoiding any action that would undermine such efforts.”

Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Tuesday warned against American recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Speaking at a conference in Berlin, Gabriel said Germany would have to “spell out where the limits” of its solidarity stood.

Germany’s top diplomat also said that facing this dilemma on the backdrop of recent developments in the Middle East “is not easy for us, it’s a new thing.”

The traditional transatlantic political architecture since World War II is beginning to “crumble,” added Gabriel.

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