Putin: Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital Destabilizes Middle East

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara Dec 11, 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara Dec 11, 2017Credit: Alexei Druzhinin / AFP

Russia and Turkey agree that U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is destabilizing the situation in the Middle East, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. 

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Speaking in Ankara alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin said the Trump administration's move "doesn't help the Mideast settlement and, just the opposite, destabilizes the already difficult situation in the region."

According to the Russian leader, the announcement may "finish prospects for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process."

Putin added that Moscow believes the status of Jerusalem can only be settled through talks between the Palestinians and Israel in line with United Nations resolutions.

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The Russian leader also said Russia hoped to sign credit agreements for the defense industry with Turkey in the near future.

Turkish and Russian officials will meet to finalize Turkey's S-400 surface-to-air missile systems deal in the coming week, Erdogan said. 

Responding to Trump's move, Erdogan said that the U.S. has become a "partner in bloodshed" with their decision to recognize Jerusalem. He said he believes the Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting on Jerusalem this week will be a turning point. A day earlier, he called Israel "a terror state," adding that Turkey "won't leave Jerusalem to the mercy of a child-murdering country."

Speaking earlier in Latakia, Syria's main port city, on Monday, Putin also announced that Russia will pull its forces from Syria. The Russian president said that despite the decision to withdraw "a significant portion of the Russian contingent," if "terrorists raise their heads" in Syria Russia will hit them with powerful strikes. 

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