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Erdogan Urges World To Recognize Jerusalem As Palestinian Capital

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (file photo)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called on countries around the world to recognize "occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine" in response to the recognition of the divided city by the United States as Israel's capital.

Opening a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Erdogan said on December 13 that Jerusalem is a "red line" for Muslims who will not accept any aggression on its Islamic sanctuaries.

The emergency meeting aims at forging a unified stance after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of U.S. foreign policy.

The move has sparked criticism from U.S. allies in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond, and triggered clashes in the Palestinian territories and protests across the Muslim world.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas told the Istanbul summit that the U.S. move ended Washington’s role as peace broker in the Middle East.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani called on Muslim nations to work together to defend the rights of Palestinians.

Palestinians regard Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and declared all of the city as its capital, a move never recognized by the international community.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters