Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls for an end to “illegal settlements” in his address to the UN General Assembly, in relatively mild criticism of Israel.
Israel and Turkey’s relations have warmed in the past year after a long period of frayed ties, and Erdogan and Lapid are set to meet while in New York for the UN, the first meeting between leaders of the countries in years.
Erdogan’s lengthy speech mentions the Israeli-Palestinian conflict among other global crises, including Ukraine, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“We need to finalize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all through the establishment of a two-state solution,” he says.
“We have to preserve the historical and cultural identity of Jerusalem and we have to respect Haram al-Sharif,” he says, referring to the Temple Mount by its Arabic name. He delivers the speech in Turkish.
“We have to stop the illegal settlements in the occupied regions, establishing security for the lives and commodities of the Palestinians. We have to establish a permanent and fair solution for the region with East Jerusalem becoming a capital,” Erdogan says. “A free and sovereign Palestinian state. There are no other solutions.”
“This is going to be for the best interests of the world, for the Palestinian people, for the Israeli people and the region,” he says.
He also calls for more international aid for the Palestinians and expressed concern about the Iranian nuclear program. He lashes Greece for its refugee policies and vows to “defend our rights” in the Eastern Aegean.