Speaking in a joint news conference with Jordanian King Abdullah, Erdogan stated that Turkey and Jordan shared the same views regarding the status of Jerusalem.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers speech during news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II (not seen) at presidential complex in capital Ankara on December 6, 2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers speech during news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II (not seen) at presidential complex in capital Ankara on December 6, 2017 ( AA )

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday strongly warned the United States against recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying the move would help terror groups.

"Such a step will only play into the hands of terror groups," Erdogan said at a joint news conference in Ankara after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

"This mistaken step... will lead to public outrage in the entire Islamic world, dynamite the ground for peace and ignite new tensions and clashes in our region," he said.

US President Donald Trump was set to announce Wednesday that Washington would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that it would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv, a plan that has caused consternation in the Islamic world and beyond.

The Turkish presidency said earlier that Erdogan was calling a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the main pan-Islamic body, in Istanbul on December 13 to discuss the move.

King Abdullah, who had been personally informed by Trump of the move by telephone, backed Erdogan's warnings and said East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

"There is no alternative to a two-state solution," Abdullah said, speaking in English.

He cautioned that "Jerusalem is key to any peace agreement (between Israel and the Palestinians) and is key to the stability of the entire region".

Abdullah said he had told Trump of "our concerns" over the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem during their telephone call.

He added that it was "imperative now to work fast" to reach a final status solution and a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis.

He also warned that ignoring Muslim rights in Jerusalem "will only fuel further extremism and undermine the war against terrorism."

Last year, Turkey and Israel ended a rift triggered by Israel's deadly storming in 2010 of a Gaza-bound ship that left 10 Turkish activists dead and led to a downgrading of diplomatic ties.

The two sides have since stepped up cooperation, in particular in energy.

Call for an independent Palestine

Erdogan also said that independent Palestine with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital is necessary for stability in the Middle East.

"No steps that will change Jerusalem's status, designated by UN decisions, should be taken,” Erdogan said.

“No one has the right to play with the destiny of billions of people for fulfilling personal ambitions," Erdogan added.

Erdogan called on the nations – who have still not recognised Palestine – to recognise the state of Palestine in order to provide balance and “keep justice alive” in the region.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital in a move never recognized by the international community.

The Palestinians, for their part, hope to establish an independent state of their own in the Gaza Strip and West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Source: AFP