The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday slammed the US announcement of the relocation of its embassy in Jerusalem as damaging to peace between Israelis and Palestinians and described the step as "extremely worrying."
"The US decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May violates UN Security Council resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem and well-established UN parameters, and demonstrates the intention of the United States to undermine peace," the ministry's statement read.
The State Department on Friday confirmed the opening of a new embassy, calling it a "historic step," months after President Donald Trump vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the ancient city that the US administration also recognized as the capital of Israel.
Tensions over Trump's decision, especially in the Muslim world, have been brewing since the initial announcement of the embassy's relocation in early December 2017, with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas saying the US could no longer mediate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Hamas movement, which is classified as a terrorist organization in the US and Israel, has announced the beginning of the third intifada, a Palestinian uprising against the US decision. The massive protests were held in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem with demonstrators eventually clashing with the Israeli security forces.
Shortly after the announcement, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan hosted a summit of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where the leaders of participating countries harshly criticized the US actions.
The UN General Assembly has also adopted a resolution, calling on UN member states to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in Jerusalem amid Trump's announcement.
The city of Jerusalem is one of the cornerstones of the decades-long standoff between Israelis and Palestinians over sovereignty and borders. While Israelis took control of the city during the Six Day War in 1967 and later declared it the capital of Israel, Palestinians are seeking to make East Jerusalem the capital of their own independent state.