Published: Sat, December 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Turkey Starting Initiatives at UN to Annul US Decision on Jerusalem

"Everybody realizes that a US-led peace process is the only way forward".

Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of Trump's December 6 decision on recognizing Jerusalem.

The decision has sparked nearly universal diplomatic condemnation and deadly protests in the Palestinian territories.

The comments come days before Vice President Mike Pence is expected to arrive in Egypt and Israel, where he is scheduled to visit the Western Wall.

An Israeli soldier sustained moderate injuries from a Palestinian who stabbed him while wearing what appeared like an explosive vest, the media in Israel reported.

The White House hopes that Pence's visit can begin to draw a line under the issue.

Turkey had on Tuesday hosted a summit of Islamic nations which recognised East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state and featured fierce rhetoric where Erdogan called Israel a "terror state" that "feeds on blood" and kills children.

"We think it's appropriate for the Palestinians to digest what has happened".

But hopes for a quick resumption of peace talks may prove optimistic.

Championing his administration as a "defender of the oppressed", Erdogan saluted Palestinian demonstrators protesting the United States and clashing with Israeli forces in the occupied East Jerusalem and other West Bank population centers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the move as a "bomb" thrown at the entire Middle East.

"We can't envision a scenario under which the Western Wall would not be part of Israel", said a senior administration official, speaking on a call with reporters alongside four other senior administration officials. "And once they review the president's remarks clearly, they will realize that nothing has changed in terms of being able to reach a historic peace agreement", he said.

"We can not imagine Israel would sign a peace agreement that didn't include the Western Wall".

"EU leaders reiterate firm commitment to the two-state solution and, in this context, the EU position on Jerusalem [al-Quds] remains unchanged", President of the European Council Donald Tusk said in a message posted on his official Twitteraccount on Thursday.

Trump's move has called into question whether the United States can serve as a fair arbiter, a role it has played for much of the last half century.

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