Turkish pres., Vatican Pope discuss Jerusalem issue

ANKARA, Dec 7 (KUNA) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the recent US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with Vatican Pope Francis on Thursday.
Erdogan stressed in a telephone conversation with the Pope that the step made by the US Administration raises concerns, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported, citing some presidential sources.
The Turkish leader stressed the necessity of establishing an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a condition for peace and stability in the region, the agency said.
He expressed his appreciations of the call by the Pope for preserving the status quo of Jerusalem.
The two sides affirmed the sanctity of Jerusalem for Muslims, Christians and Jews, and the need to avoid all attempts seeking to change the status quo of the city.
They called on the international community to respond to such attempts, which violate the international law and the UN resolutions regarding Jerusalem, it noted.
Meanwhile, Erdogan and his Russian counterpart expressed, by the telephone, their anxiety over the US decision on Jerusalem.
In a statement issued today, the Russian presidency said that the two leaders reiterated that Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem threatens the efforts of the political settlement in the Middle East region.
They also stressed the need to prevent a further escalation in the region, calling for directing efforts to resume direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in order to find acceptable solutions to all outstanding issues, including Jerusalem, the statement added.
They stressed their commitment to achieving a fair and effective settlement for the conflict in the Middle East region on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions and General Assembly through helping the Palestinian people establish their independent state.
US President Donald Trump announced late Wednesday the recognition of Jerusalem and the capital of Israel and the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to this occupied city.
Therefore, there have been several international, Islamic and Arab reactions rejecting the move. (end) rs.sma.as.hm

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