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    Erdogan, Putin concerned about Mideast stability
    December 9, 2017, 11:42 am

    Putin is to meet with Erdogan on Monday to discuss the issue of Jerusalem and Middle East tensions [Xinhua]

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Saturday Washington of further instability if the US embassy is moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

    Last week, US President Donald Trump reversed decades of foreign policy and declared his country’s recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. He also signed an executive order to move the embassy there.

    There are currently no embassies in Jerusalem as the international community considers it a disputed city with its final status only decided by agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    During a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, 14 of 15 members criticized Trump’s decision leaving US ambassador Nikki Haley having to defend her president’s position.

    The other 14 members, including major US allies, reiterated their support for a peace agreement based on the territories of 1967. East Jerusalem, they said, should be part of a Palestinian state.

    Erdogan and Putin said Trump’s declaration threatens peace efforts. The two leaders said they had serious concerns about the future of the region and feared further escalation, a statement from the Kremlin said.

    Erdogan said that declaring Jerusalem the Israeli capital was a “red line” for the Muslim world.

    The Turkish President, who is the current chair of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said he would try and consolidate a unified Muslim response to the declaration.

    Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Putin discussed the crisis during a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Putin is expected to raise the issue with his Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during his scheduled visit to Cairo on Monday.

    He is also expected to make a stop in Turkey to discuss the status of Jerusalem.

    The United Nations, European Union, and other organization have criticized Trump’s declaration.

    China, meanwhile, reiterated its backing of the decades-old Middle East peace process and said it supported the “just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate rights and interests”.

    Beijing said that “China supports the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty and independence on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

    The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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