Vastavam web: The US has lost its role as mediator in the Middle East by moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in London today.”With its latest step, America has chosen to be a part of the problem, not a solution, and lost its mediator role in the Middle East peace process,” Erdogan told the Chatham House international affairs think tank.
Moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was “very, very unfortunate,” he said, warning it would “increase tensions and ignite an even greater fire between communities”.Erdogan urged the international community to “take swift action to put an end to Israel’s increasing aggression,” denouncing the embassy move as violating international law and UN resolutions.
Jerusalem is one of the most thorny issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides claiming it as their capital.Most of the international community does not formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and almost all embassies are located in Tel Aviv.Erdogan was also deeply critical of US President Donald Trump’s decision this month to withdraw Washington from the Iran nuclear deal.
“The nuclear deal is a significant development which should be preserved,” Erdogan said, adding that political dialogue with Iran was “beneficial” to the international community.Turning to Turkey’s decades-long efforts to join the European Union, Erdogan said it remained a strategic goal for Ankara but he condemned the “politicisation” of the process.He will meet Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday — an audience that has proved relatively uncontroversial compared to the prospect of her meeting Trump.
As he spoke, a group of Kurdish activists protested outside, with further demonstrations expected near Downing Street on Tuesday by media rights group, Reporters Without Borders.Erdogan’s visit comes just weeks before Turkey holds early parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24.