Islamabad (Monitoring Desk): Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called Pakistani counterpart Manmoon Hussain to discuss recent Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital.
The two leaders talked about the implications of the decision, which prompted an almost universal diplomatic backlash and fears of new bloodshed in the Middle East as Trump’s announcement ended seven decades of US ambiguity on the status of Jerusalem, which is vociferously claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.
President Erdogan, in his call to President Mamnoon, pointed out that there would be no lasting peace in the Middle East unless an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, with Eastern Jerusalem as capital under the borders of 1967, is formed, local media said.
Erdogan also discussed the issue with the leaders of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia, Tunisia and Sudan earlier.
Trump, in his announcement Wednesday, also kicked off the process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, making good on a campaign promise dear to evangelical Christian and right-wing Jewish voters – as well as donors.
He said his decision marked the start of a “new approach” to solving the thorny conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The announcement left many angry US allies and leaders across the Middle East trying to find a measured response and hoping that the tinderbox region is not destined for yet another round of bloodletting.
Hundreds of Palestinians burned US and Israeli flags as well as pictures of Trump in the Gaza Strip, while relatively small clashes erupted near the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron.
The Palestinian movement Hamas threatened to launch a new “intifada,” or uprising. Palestinians, meanwhile, called for three days of protests – or “days of rage” – starting Wednesday.