Turkey launches diplomatic initiative against Israeli aggression in Al-Aqsa

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The Turkish leadership has intensified diplomatic efforts for steps that can be taken at the international platforms in order to reduce the tension in the region after Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke separately over the phone with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on May 10, also with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on May 11 over the escalation of violence in East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

During the calls, Erdoğan highlighted the importance of working together to stop Israel’s “despicable” attacks.

Erdoğan emphasized the importance of Turkey and Qatar’s joint efforts to mobilize countries in the region and the world public opinion, a statement by the presidency said.

“There should be one heart and one voice in the face of the oppression against Palestinians,” Erdoğan told the Malaysian king and expressed confidence that Turkey and Malaysia would act in close cooperation at all relevant platforms, particularly at the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the president’s office said.

Underscoring that Israel’s inhumane attacks against Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinians concerned all Muslims, Erdoğan stressed that it was important for Turkey and Jordan to work together in order to put an end to these attacks and this oppression.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on May 10 discussed the latest developments in Jerusalem during telephone conversations with his Iranian, Algerian, Pakistani and Russian counterparts.

According to diplomatic sources, the minister spoke over the phone with his Palestinian and Tunisian counterparts as well as with the secretary-general of OIC and discussed the steps to be taken in the international arena over the latest developments in Jerusalem.

During his visit to Riyadh on May 11, Çavuşoğlu had phone conversations with his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts on the issue.

Condemning the Israel air raids in Gaza Strip, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Israel has the “main responsibility for the escalation of the events in the Palestinian territories.”

“It is clear that Israel’s aggressive and provocative policies will not contribute to the efforts towards ending violence and prevailing dialogue and reconciliation in the Middle East,” the ministry said in a written statement on May 11.

It must be ensured that the Israeli administration recognizes the fact that using “indiscriminate and disproportionate force cannot suppress the legitimate rights and demands” of the Palestinian people and that Israel halts immediately such military methods that “serve no other purpose than to further increase hostility and tension” in the region, said the ministry.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem since last week when Israeli settlers swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.

Violence flared in the Palestinian territories on Sunday after Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and attacked Palestinian worshippers inside the holy site. More than 300 Palestinians were injured in Israeli attacks inside the flashpoint complex.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

Hurriyet Daily News

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