US chose to be ‘part of problem,’ not solution, with embassy move to Jerusalem – Erdogan

Monday, May 14, 2018
By Paul Martin
14 May, 2018

By moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Washington is choosing to be part of the problem in the Middle East rather than working towards a solution, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

“The United States has chosen to be a part of the problem rather than the solution with its latest step and has lost its mediating role in the peace process,” Erdogan said in a speech at Britain’s Chatham House think tank on Monday, as quoted by Reuters.

The statement comes as the US moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, a day which marks the anniversary of Israel’s founding according to the civil calendar. Washington has been preparing for the move since President Donald Trump formally acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. While that move was hailed by Israel itself, the US received widespread condemnation from other countries and world bodies including the UN and EU.

Ankara was one of the loudest critics of Trump’s decision, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu calling the move “wrong and unacceptable” at the time. In February, the ministry wrote in a statement that the US move proves that Washington “insists on destroying the grounds for peace by violating international law, United Nations Security Council resolutions on Jerusalem, and the established UN parameters.”

Turkish citizens have also spoken out against the move, with several thousand hitting the streets of Istanbul to protest on Friday. They held signs reading “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians” and “Al-Quds (Arabic name for Jerusalem) belongs to Muslims.”

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