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Erdogan Hopes to Open Embassy in East Jerusalem

  • VOA News

FILE - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during an opening ceremony of a new metro line in Istanbul, Dec. 15, 2017.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that Turkey hopes to open an embassy to a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem in the future..

"Because it is under occupation we can't just go there and open an embassy," Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling party in the city of Karaman.

"But, inshallah [God willing] those days are near and... we will officially open our embassy there," he said, without giving any precise timeframe.

The comments come just days after Erdogan hosted a summit of leaders of Muslim-majority nations to denounce U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Erdogan has spearheaded opposition among both Muslim and European leaders to oppose the decision.

East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel following the 1967 war - a move that has not been recognized by the international community.

Turkey currently has a general consulate in Jerusalem, and has full diplomatic relations with Israel but, like all other nations, its embassy is in Tel Aviv.