Turkey is ready to do its part to resolve the ongoing question of Palestine, according to Ahmet Aydin, deputy speaker of Turkey’s parliament.
Speaking in Ramallah, where the Palestine National Council resumed its activities Monday, Aydin described U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a “violation of both international law and the global conscience”.
He also accused the U.S. administration of harboring a “pro-Israel” bias and failing to represent a neutral mediator.
“We must insist on establishing a free, sovereign Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital — this is the only viable way to achieve peace,” Aydin asserted.
Citing recent proposals by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to establish an “international platform” for promoting the Middle East peace process, he added: “Turkey is ready to do its part.”
A total of 137 countries had recognized Palestine so far, Aydin said, “but this isn’t enough”.
“I ask those countries that have yet to recognize Palestine: ‘If not now, when?’ It’s time the Palestinian state was acknowledged,” he said.
Referring to recent reductions of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, Aydin insisted that Turkey would continue to provide the Palestinians with financial support.
According to Aydin, Turkey plans to contribute $10 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will soon receive the UNRWA commissioner-general to discuss means of stepping up Turkish assistance to Palestine.
He also noted that East Jerusalem had been recognized as the Palestinian capital during a recent summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held in Istanbul.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel since 1967 — might eventually serve as capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Last December, the U.S. president drew condemnation and protest from across the Arab and Muslim world after announcing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.