'Damaging Peace'

Turkey Blasts U.S. Decision to Open Jerusalem Embassy as Damaging to Peace

The country's Foreign Ministry said the decision was 'very worrying' and disregarded resolutions made at the United Nations

Turkey's President and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the AKP's extended meeting of provincial heads at the party's headquarters in Ankara on February 23, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN
Turkey said on Saturday that the United States' decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem in May disregarded declarations by the United Nations and Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and showed the U.S. insisted on damaging peace.
In a statement, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said the decision was "very worrying." The U.S. State Department said on Friday it would open an embassy in Jerusalem in May to coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary.
The decision reverses decades of American policy.
In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the U.S. president for his "leadership and friendship."
"This is a great day for the people of Israel," he said.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the PLO Executive Committee and a chief negotiator, slammed the U.S. administration over its announcement, saying that the intention to move the embassy shows that Washington is determined to "violate international law, destroy the two-state solution, and provoke the feelings of the Palestinian people, as well as of all Arabs, Muslims and Christians around the globe." 
Several members of the Israeli opposition spoke out against the American decision on the embassy. Lawmaker Ahmad Tibi of the Joint List said that "President Trump and his government proved once again that they are swift shooters, and they shot themselves in the foot."
Meretz's Tamar Zandberg said that the "one-sided decision to move the embassy will not help, but quite the opposite."
In December, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan hosted an OIC summit of more than 50 countries in Istanbul, where Muslim leaders condemned the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Pedestrians are seen near the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, December 6, 2017.