No condemnation of Israel in Erdogan speech ahead of Netanyahu meet

In contrast to previous years, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan refrains from condemning Israel and offers only a few words of support for Palestinians, mentioning them almost as an aside in his speech to the UN.

“In order for peace to ring in the Middle East, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be brought to an eventual solution,” he says. “We will continue to support the Palestinian people and their end-state in their struggle for legitimate rights under international law.”

Without a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders “it is difficult for Israel to find the peace and security it seeks in that part of the world,” he says.

“We will continue to pursue respect for the historic status of Jerusalem,” he adds, before moving on to the Balkans.

The comments, reflecting improved ties between Jerusalem and Ankara, come hours before he is slated to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York.

In past years, Erdogan has used the podium to sling harsh censure at Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. In 2020, he prompted a walkout by the Israeli envoy after saying that “the dirty hand that reaches the privacy of Jerusalem, where the sacred places of the three great religions coexist, is constantly increasing its audacity.”

A year earlier, he used a graphic to accuse Israel of expanding its borders.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds up a map of Israel since 1947 showing what he says are expanding Israeli borders while speaking to the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters on September 24, 2019 in New York City. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

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