Turkey suggests opening embassy to Palestine in East Jerusalem

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Turkey will open an embassy in east Jerusalem once the world recognises an independent Palestinian state, the country’s foreign minister has said. 

 Mevlut Cavusoglu said there was “serious determination” among countries that have not yet recognised Palestine to do so.

“Once we succeed, embassies will open in the independent Palestinian state’s capital, east Jerusalem,” he said.

Efforts to create a Palestinian state on the West Bank of the River Jordan and Gaza on the Mediterranean coast have been frustrated by the continuing conflict with Israel and disputes over the status of diaspora Palestinians.

The Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993 established a Palestinian National Authority as an interim body to run parts of Gaza and the West Bank, but not East Jerusalem, pending an agreed solution to the conflict.

Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, with its continuing settlement building and military checkpoints, along with Palestinian attacks, have slowed progress towards a final agreement and led many on both sides to dispute the worth of the Accords.

Mr Cavusoglu’s comments come in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion a plan to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

The decision which breaks with decades of US foreign policy, has drawn sharp criticism from Muslim countries.

Israel considers Jerusalem, both east and west, as its undivided eternal capital, but this has never been recognised internationally.

Announcing his decision Mr Trump said it was time to “finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” .

He added: “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

Thousands of people protested in the occupied Palestinian territories and around the world following the announcement.

Turkey hosted a meeting of 57 Muslim nations earlier this week, that rejected the decision and called for the recognition of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

The country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the US a “partner in bloodshed” after Mr Trump’s announcement.

“With their decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has become a partner in this bloodshed,” he said. 




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