Turkey’s top diplomat says it plans to open an embassy in eastern Yerushalayim once the world recognizes an independent Palestinian state.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday there was “serious determination” among countries that have not yet recognized Palestine to do so.
“We need to succeed in this,” he said. “Once we succeed, embassies will open in the independent Palestinian state’s capital, east Yerushalayim.”
Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump’s declaration last week that Yerushalayim is the capital of Israel. Turkey hosted a meeting of 57 Muslim nations on Wednesday that rejected the decision and called for recognition of a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Yerushalayim.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil heeded the call, recommending on Thursday that his government establish an embassy in “Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.”
A government committee headed by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has reportedly been formed to examine the proposal.
Also on Thursday, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Cavusoglu fueled the flames of discord with a claim that Israel has falsely accused an official of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) of supporting terrorist activities, according to The Daily Sabah.
TIKA is a government department of the prime minister’s office in charge of development assistance which describes itself as an “implementing intermediary of Turkish foreign policy.”
Muhammed Murtaja, a Gaza resident in the employ of TIKA, was detained by the Shin Bet in March on charges of “financing Hamas’s military wing,” The Jerusalem Post reported.