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OIC to meet in Turkey to coordinate Jerusalem response

U.S. should correct 'grave mistake' on Jerusalem’s status, says Turkish presidential spokesman

Reuters Agency, Anadolu Agency

Turkey will host an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Dec. 13 to discuss the U.S.’s planned recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The OIC consists of 57 Muslim states spread across the globe and the decision to hold the unscheduled meeting came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke to leaders from Malaysia, Tunisia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia, spokesman Ibrahim Kalın said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is widely expected to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday and begin preparations to move the U.S. Embassy to the city.

Kalın told a news conference in Ankara that the U.S. should back down from a “grave mistake” over Jerusalem’s status.

He reiterated Erdoğan’s earlier remarks that Jerusalem’s status was a “red line” for Turkey.

“Jerusalem’s current status should be preserved,” Kalın added.

“It is true that it is necessary for steps to be taken in order to prevent the grave mistake of introducing Jerusalem as the property of Israel.”

Erdoğan: Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims
Yeni Şafak

Erdoğan: Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on President Donald Trump regarding reports that he may move the U.S.'s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus recognizing Jerusalem as the country's capital, and said: “Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims. If such step is taken, we will gather the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in a leaders' summit in Istanbul within 5-10 days." He noted that this step “could even lead to the cutting of diplomatic ties with Israel."

Unanimous warning

He promised that the president would continue to press the Palestinian issue.

World leaders have been near unanimous in warning against a change in the status of Jerusalem.

The city, which is holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that its eastern part -- which was occupied by Israel in 1967 -- might serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a city Israel has maintained is the capital of its “undivided” state.

The decision would reverse decades of American policy and block any effort to resume long-stalled peace talks between Israel and Palestinians.

Turning to Syria, Kalın referred to Trump’s promise to end arms supplies to the PKK/PYD. He said the U.S. was continuing to arm the terror group, a situation he described as “unacceptable”.

The PKK/PYD is the Syrian branch of the PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years, killing more than 40,000 people.

While recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group, the U.S. has treated the PKK/PYD as an ally in fighting Daesh.

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