Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says on Sunday that Turkey aims to open an embassy in East Jerusalem, after the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit's call for the recognition of it as the capital of Palestine.
Turkey intends to open an embassy in East Jerusalem, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders of the world to recognise it as the capital of Palestine.
"God willing, the day is close when officially, with God's permission, we will open our embassy there," Erdogan said.
He has not specified how he intends to carry out the move, as Israel controls all of Jerusalem and refers to the city as its 'indivisible capital'.
Palestinians want the capital of a future state they seek to be in East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally.
OIC says US unfit to broker ME peace
The Muslim nation summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was called in response to US President Donald Trump's December 6 decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
His move broke with decades of US policy and international consensus that the city's status must be left to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Erdogan was speaking in the southern province of Karaman in a speech to members of his governing AK Party. He noted that Turkey's consulate general in Jerusalem was already represented by an ambassador.
Jerusalem, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, is home to Islam's third holiest shrine as well as Judaism's Western Wall - both in the eastern sector - and has been at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades.
Foreign embassies in Israel, including Turkey's, are located in Tel Aviv, reflecting Jerusalem's unresolved status.
A communique issued after Wednesday's summit of more than 50 Muslim countries, including US allies, said they considered Trump's move to be a declaration that Washington was withdrawing from its role "as sponsor of peace" in the Middle East.