It would be a “fatal mistake” for US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Turkey has warned.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on December 5 that a reported plan for such recognition, in whole or in part, would be a “red line for Turkey” and could lead to Ankara cutting diplomatic ties with Israel.
“As the temporary president of the Islamic Cooperation Organization, we will follow this issue very closely,” Erdogan said at his party’s weekly meeting in the Turkish capital.
As reported by CNN, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter to describe the reported plan as “a fatal mistake… such a move would undermine all peace efforts and trigger new tensions and conflicts.”
Three other major US allies have registered their concerns this week about the reported plans of the Trump Administration to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
According to CNN, the announcement, expected this week, would fulfil a Trump campaign promise – one made by previous US Presidents and then set aside due to regional concerns and Jerusalem’s contested status between Israelis and Palestinians, both of which claim the holy city as their capital.
The resistance from allies is reportedly leading to debate within the White House over how to balance the move with the recognition of Palestinian claims to Jerusalem and may delay an announcement, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
“Any announcement prior to a final settlement would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region,” Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, said in a statement to CNN on December 4.
In a phone call with Trump on December 4, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed similar thoughts, according to a readout provided by the French foreign ministry.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi also warned of “dangerous repercussions” should the move materialise.
Under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the embassy must be moved to Jerusalem or the State Department would face the penalty of losing half its appropriated funds for the acquisition and maintenance of buildings abroad. Every six months, however, presidents can sign a waiver to avoid these penalties on national security grounds.