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Erdogan, Abbas discuss Jerusalem over phone

December 3, 2017 at 11:53 am

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas (L) hold a joint press conference in Ankara, Turkey on 28 August 2017 [Mehmet Ali Özcan/Anadolu Agency]

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas spoke over the phone on Saturday to discuss the status of Jerusalem, according to a Turkish presidential source.

The leaders also discussed the latest developments in Palestine, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Erdogan emphasised that an independent and sovereign Palestinian state should be established with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The president reiterated Turkey’s ongoing support for the “just cause” of the Palestinian people, adding lifting restrictions on Gaza would significantly contribute to peace.

Abbas, for his part, thanked Erdogan for his sensitivity and support.

Read: Trump recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital would fuel violence – Arab League

The phone call comes amid media reports about purported plans by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday. Word of Trump’s planned announcement, which would deviate from previous US presidents who have insisted the Jerusalem’s status must be decided in negotiations, has already drawn criticism from the Palestinian Authority.