A meeting on Monday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Pope Francis may have grave implications for Jerusalem as both leaders appear to be building an agenda based upon their joint opposition to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital. The meeting, which took place at the Vatican, was already significant in that it was the first visit by a Turkish head of state since diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Turkey were established in 1960. However, a statement released by the Vatican says that both leaders also used the occasion to discuss the ”the status of Jerusalem, highlighting the need to promote peace and stability in the region (Middle East) through dialogue and negotiation, with respect for human rights and international law.” Both Erdogan and Pope Francis are opposed to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Erdogan responded to the move by calling for an emergency meeting of the OIC. The summit, held in Istanbul, declared “East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine” and called upon “all countries to recognize the State of Palestine and East Jerusalem as its occupied capital.” (READ MORE)
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