Erdogan: US Jerusalem move puts region in ring of fire

Erdogan: US Jerusalem move puts region in ring of fire
From Al Jazeera - December 7, 2017

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying it would throw this region into "a ring of fire".

"Taking such a step throws particularly this region into a ring of fire. What would you like to do [with this step], Mr Trump? What kind of stance is it?" Erdogan said on Thursday, at Esenboga Airport in the capital Ankara, before leaving for a visit to Greece.

Breaking with decades of US policy, Trump on Wednesday announced the transfer of American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, formally recognising the contested city as the capital of Israel despite widespread international opposition.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," he said in a speech in Washington.

Ignite a 'powder keg'

US analysts say Trump's announcement might risk igniting a "powder keg" at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

"Jerusalem has a tendency to explode when you fool around with the status quo," said Aaron David Miller, vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a former Middle East adviser to the Clinton and Bush administrations.

The Turkish president, who had earlier warned that the status of Jerusalem was a red line for Muslims, said that the US decision disregarded a 1980 United Nations resolution regarding the status of the city.

He added that political leaders should work to bring peace, not stir things up.

Jerusalem at the core of the conflict


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