Addressing his US counterpart Donald Trump in a speech to his ruling party, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that if Trump finally decides to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Ankara will call for an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit and consider severing ties with Israel.
"Jerusalem is the red line for Muslims. Such a decision will be a heavy blow for all mankind. We will not leave it. We will fight to the end. We may even reach a severance of diplomatic relations with Israel. I once again warn the United States not to take steps that will further deepen the crisis in the region," Erdogan said.
The statement comes a few days after Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kusher said that the US President was allegedly close to a decision on the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Earlier this day, Husam Zomlot, the top representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the US, said that Washington recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital will have "catastrophic consequences" and prompt a "strategic and political" response from the PLO.
#Erdogan slams @realDonaldTrump over possible steps to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem, says he will mobilize entire Islamic world, describes the move as a red-line for Muslims & will lead Turkey's severing ties with #Israel. pic.twitter.com/Al1LT3w4mi— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) 5 декабря 2017 г.
Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, for his part, said that Trump's looming decision on the status of Jerusalem "would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region."
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which remains partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.
They demand that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian territories that it seized during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Jerusalem was declared the capital of a unified Israel in 1980, in a move that was never recognized by any other country, including the United States.