Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan and France’s Emmanuel Macron will work together to try to persuade the United States to reconsider its decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a Turkish presidential source said on Saturday.
The two leaders agreed during a phone call that the move is worrisome for the region, the source said, adding that Turkey and France would make a joint effort to try to reverse the US decision.
Erdogan said it was the duty of all humanity to preserve the status of Jerusalem, Anadolu Agency reports a source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. He noted the importance of the sensitive attitude of EU members and said a wrong step could negatively impact the region, including Israel.
Erdogan also spoke on the phone to the presidents of Kazakhstan, Lebanon and Azerbaijan on Saturday regarding the issue, the source said. On Wednesday, he called an urgent meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Turkey next week.
President Donald Trump’s announcement on Wednesday has upset US allies in the West. At the United Nations, France, Italy, Germany, Britain and Sweden called on the United States to “bring forward detailed proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement”.
The status of Jerusalem has been one of the biggest obstacles to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians for generations.
France has been a supporter of the Palestinian cause. In 2014, the French National Assembly passed a non-binding motion calling on the government to recognise Palestine, but the government has not officially done so. Paris has pointed out in the past its conviction that a two-state solution requires the recognition of Palestine.
Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing it in a 1967 war, to be occupied territory, and say the status of the city should be left to be decided at future Israeli-Palestinian talks.
While the international community has almost unanimously disagreed with Donald Trump’s announcement, reports suggest that the announcement was done with the pre-agreement of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with the Saudi Arabia going as far as, allegedly, stating to the Palestinian President to accept a village on the outskirts of Jerusalem as the alternative Palestinian capital.
Since the announcement, Saudi Arabia’s royal court has sent notices to the nation’s media outlets to limit the airtime given to protests against Trump’s announcement.
Emboldened by Trump’s annoucement, Israeli housing Minister Yoav Galant decided on Friday to promote a plan to build 14,000 new settlement units in the occupied Jerusalem.