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Muslim world won’t compromise on al-Quds, says Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again criticized US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel, stressing that the Israeli-occupied city is of great value to all Muslims.

Addressing the 16th Islamic Circle of North America-Muslim American Society Convention in Chicago, the United States, via a video link, Erdogan said on Saturday that Jerusalem al-Quds was the “red line for all Muslims,” calling on Muslims “not to allow anyone to divide them on the basis of ethnic, sectarian or cultural differences.”

He also praised the United Nations General Assembly’s voting earlier this month, during which the US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital was declared “null and void.”

“The victory we gained on the issue of Jerusalem al-Quds attests to the fact that we can achieve many things through solidarity…This victory at the same time showed the whole world that there are values that cannot be bought with money.

“Everyone must draw a lesson from the vote on Jerusalem [al-Quds]. We are inviting the American and Israeli officials not to take any steps that will escalate tensions. Jerusalem [al-Quds] is so precious to be compromised over our own interests,” Erdogan pointed out.

On December 6, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.

A Palestinian demonstrator hurls stones toward Israeli troops during a protest against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the capital of Israel, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, December 29, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The dramatic shift in Washington’s policy vis-à-vis the city triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

On December 21, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”

The voting results are displayed during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in which the US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital was declared “null and void” on December 21, 2017 in New York City, the United States. (Photo by AFP)

In an attempt to avert the resolution, Trump had warned that “we’re watching,” threatening reprisals against countries that backed the measure, which earlier faced a US veto at the UN Security Council.

Israel, however, rejected the world body’s resolution while thanking Trump for his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

Jerusalem al-Quds remains at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians hoping that the eastern part of the city would eventually serve as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.

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