Warning on US Jerusalem nod

World | 6 Dec 2017

Turkey and the Palestinians warned yesterday of dire diplomatic repercussions if President Donald Trump goes ahead with the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament that his country's response "could go as far as us cutting diplomatic ties with Israel."

A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that the Palestinian leadership could halt contacts with US counterparts in response to such recognition.

American officials have said Trump may recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital this week as a way to offset his likely decision to delay his campaign promise of moving the US Embassy there. Trump's point-man on the Middle East, son-in-law Jared Kushner, later said the president hasn't decided yet what steps to take regarding Jerusalem.

Still, the possibility of such recognition has triggered mounting criticism and opposition by Muslim and Arab states.

The Arab League with almost two dozen member states was to discuss the controversy later yesterday.

On Monday, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, which has 57 member states, said US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would constitute "naked aggression."

Erdogan said yesterday that said such a step would lead Ankara to cut off diplomatic ties with Israel.

Majdi Khaldi, the diplomatic adviser of Abbas, said recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital could destroy Washington's role as mediator between Israelis and Palestinians.

"If the Americans recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, then this would mean they decided, on their own, to distance themselves from efforts to make peace and that they will have no credibility or role in this issue," Khaldi said.

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