Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday accused US counterpart Donald Trump of having a “Zionist mentality” over his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, adding Washington had no further role to play in the peace process.
Erdogan said Jerusalem was “a red line” for Muslims.
“The real proprietor of these lands is Palestine. Mr. Trump wants all this to be Israel. This is the product of an evangelist and Zionist mentality,” he said at the close of an emergency Muslim summit, adding that there can no longer be “any question” of the United States being a mediator in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Erdogan, speaking at the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said it was “out of the question” for Washington to mediate between the Palestinians and the Israelis. “That process is now over.”
He said it was time for Muslim leaders to discuss among themselves who was to take Washington’s role and to consider taking the matter to the UN.
Islamic leaders at the conference urged the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, and said the United States no longer had any role to play in the peace process.
With the Islamic world itself mired in division, the summit fell well short of agreeing on any concrete sanctions against Israel or the United States.
But their final statement declared “East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine” and invited “all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.”
They declared Trump’s decision “null and void legally” and “a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts” that would give impetus to “extremism and terrorism.”
In a Wednesday address from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace, a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.
The move was hailed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.