Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday threatened to sever ties with Israel over potential U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Erdogan said he would “set the entire Islamic world in motion” if President Donald Trump followed through on a policy change towards Jerusalem – as he did on Wednesday night in a momentous declaration.
“Mr. Trump! Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims,” said Erdogan in a televised address to his ruling AKP party.
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said in response to the Turkish leader’s rhetoric, “Unfortunately, Erdogan does not miss an opportunity to attack Israel. Israel must advance its goals, including the recognition of united Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.”
“There will always be those who criticize, but at the end of the day it is better to have a united Jerusalem than Erdogan’s sympathy,” added Bennett.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia expressed “grave and deep concern” over the US recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating its embassy to Jerusalem, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
“This step will have serious implications and will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It will also obstruct the ongoing efforts to revive the peace process,” the agency stated, quoting an unnamed government source.
Jordan, Egypt and the Arab League all issued similar warnings on the potential embassy move earlier this week, but Trump was not deterred.