Turkish President calls debate of moving US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as “wrong”; Refers to Israel as racist state, calls on Muslims to visit “occupied” Jerusalem
Weeks ahead of United States President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel, Turkish President Recep Erdogan stated that the “debate” over moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem is “extremely wrong”, while calling “Israeli administration” racist.
The president made the remarks at a forum in Istanbul on Monday, stating “The debates over the possibility of US moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem are extremely wrong and should certainly drop from the agenda.”
Erdogan also compared the State of Israel to apartheid South Africa and to pre-civil rights United States, stating “What’s the difference between the present acts of the Israeli administration and the racist and discriminatory politics that were practiced against black people in the past in America and up until a short time ago in South Africa?”
He also called on Muslims to visit Jerusalem more often in order to fight the “occupation”, stating “We, as Muslims, should be visiting Al-Quds [Jerusalem] more often. Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us. Both in terms of our religion and historical responsibility, Al-Quds and the fight of our Palestinian brothers for rights and justice is of great importance to us. We will keep making efforts for Quds to turn into a city of peace.”
His remarks come after the arrival of President Trump’s delegation of 25 to Israel last week, the delegation preparing for his scheduled visit to Israel on May 22.
President Trump released a statement on his agenda while in Israel, stating “It is my honor to accept the invitation of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make my first trip as president to Israel, where I will emphasize the need to strengthen cooperation between Israel and the US- a partnership that has been successful for so many years… We will focus on a number of regional issues that are the source of joint concern for us, including the need to act against the threats posed by Iran and its proxies, the dangers posed by ISIS, and the threats from other terrorist groups. We will also discuss ways to promote a real and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
President Trump will arrive in Israel after visiting Saudi Arabia where he will then continue to the Vatican.