Turkish leaders on Saturday lambasted Israel as a rogue, “terrorist state” and called on Palestinian groups to unite in order to realize the formation of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
An independent Palestinian state is a precondition for lasting regional stability, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, addressing regional leaders at the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum in Istanbul.
Davutoğlu called for collective action against Israel, which irresponsibly heeds no laws, Today’s Zaman reported.
“It is high time to take a firm stance against Israel’s activities that destroy the peace process in the Middle East,” the foreign minister said.
“Our responsibility for Palestinian people has not ended yet,” Hurriyet Daily News quoted Davutoğlu saying. “We will keep on working to make Palestine attain the position it deserves on an international platform.”
The conference came two days after the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s status to a nonmember observer state — a motion championed by Turkey.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his charge that Israel is a “terrorist state” and accused it of attempting ethnic cleansing in the Gaza Strip in the recent Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel Radio reported.
He added that “Israel should not place obstacles in the way of the establishment of a Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem,” and called on the various Palestinian factions to unite in order to realize that future.
“In order to carry Palestine to a further status and to see Palestine as a state with the capital of East Jerusalem, the unity and solidarity in Palestine is a must, and we want to see this and experience the excitement,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Erdoğan saying.