The Turkish Foreign Ministry has denounced Washington’s plan to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in May, saying it violates international law and undermines peace efforts in the region.
In a statement released on its website, the ministry accused the United States of disregarding resolutions passed by the United Nations and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which condemned the proposed embassy move.
"The US government's announcement that it will move its embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May shows that it insists on destroying the grounds for peace by violating international law, United Nations Security Council resolutions on Jerusalem and the established UN parameters,” the statement said.
Ankara went on to state that its ally, Washington, “shows that it has not heard the voices of the international community’s conscience.”
“Despite the extremely worrying nature of this decision taken by the US, Turkey will continue the exert effort to protect the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people along with the overwhelming majority of the international community.”
The US State Department said on Friday it would open an embassy in Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the US announcement as “a great day for the people of Israel.”
On December 6, President Donald Trump said that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and planned on moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested holy city. The decision sparked international outrage as well as bloody demonstrations.
Around a dozen Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded by Israeli security forces during demonstrations in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza against the move.
The UN General Assembly voted 128-9 to condemn the US decision, and Turkey hosted an emergency OIC summit, during which the 57 member states denounced Washington’s planned embassy move and acknowledged East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.
Moscow has urged Washington to observe UN-approved parameters for negotiating a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, noting that unilateral decisions about Jerusalem’s status undermine peace efforts.
“The fact is that the statement [of recognition] goes against all the previous agreements,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in December, adding that it divided global communities into two “very, very unequal parts.”