ANKARA. — United States President Donald Trump’s ground shaking announcement on Jerusalem prompted a new wave of rapprochement between Turkey and Russia, and the issue will be high on the agenda during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Ankara today.
The Russian leader, already scheduled to visit Egypt today, will travel to Turkey on the same day for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Jerusalem crisis and the situation in Syria.
Putin and Erdogan plan to discuss bilateral issues, including joint energy projects, as well as the conflict in Syria and the broader situation in the Middle East, according to the Kremlin.
Sources in Ankara told Xinhua that the two leaders will discuss “the tension caused by the US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the effects of this very wrong decision on an already volatile and vulnerable region.”
“The Syrian conflict and all aspects of the Turkish-Russian bilateral relations will also be on the table,” added these sources. In a related matter, Arab foreign ministers declared early yesterday that the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is illegal, warning further violence in the region.
The ministers from member-states of the Arab League held a prolonged urgent meeting in Cairo started in Saturday evening, and urged the United States to withdraw its decision, describing the move as a violation of the international law.
The US decision has no legal effect, the Arab ministers said in their final statement, adding that it undermines peace efforts, deepens tension, provokes anger and pushes the region into violence and instability.
Trump’s declaration received wide criticism and opposition from Arab and Muslim countries. The Arab foreign ministers have urged world countries to recognise an independent Palestinian state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
They have pointed out that the United States has isolated itself as a peace mediator and sponsor after making this decision. They stressed adherence to peace based on the two-state solution, calling for a UN Security Council resolution to affirm that the US decision goes against the resolutions of international legitimacy.
Jerusalem lies at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Israel took over East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war and declared the whole city as its eternal indivisible capital in 1980, but it has not been recognized by the international community. The Palestinians insist that they should establish an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital in the final settlement.
Under the previous Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, the status of Jerusalem should be determined through the final-status talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Islamic Hamas movement’s military wing Al-Qassam brigades called yesterday for the continuation of the “uprising and activating all means in resisting and confronting the occupation” in rejection of the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Al-Qassam Brigades said in an official statement sent to reporters “we call upon our people to continue this Intifada, and to activate all means of resisting and confronting the occupation.”
The statement warned that “the enemy will pay the bill of an arduous expense for the aggression, treachery and criminality against our people,” adding “the coming days will prove to the enemy its great error and its misjudgment of the will and determination of the armed resistance.” — Xinhua.