Turkey concerned over Moldova's plan to move embassy to Jerusalem

Published 15.06.2019 00:19

The Foreign Ministry expressed concern late Thursday over Moldova's decision to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is of key importance in a fair and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue, it said in a statement.

It said Turkey has called on the international community to abide by U.N. decisions on Jerusalem and to respect the city's historic and legal status.

Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip announced the embassy move Tuesday, saying the decision was "a long overdue commitment to support our allies."

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry has condemned the decision.

Moldova, Europe's poorest country, had been without a government since elections were held in February. Last week, the pro-EU Acum bloc and pro-Moscow Socialists managed to form a coalition government in an apparent move to bring down an alleged oligarchy led by Vladimir Plahotniuc, the leader of the Democratic Party.

Israel has been trying to convince nations to transfer their missions from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. So far, only the U.S. and Guatemala have moved their embassies.

In recent months, the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have called upon countries not to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel nor transfer their embassies to the occupied city. Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of the U.S. move. At an extraordinary summit held in Istanbul last May, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as the rotating chairman of the OIC, issued a strong message to the Israeli government, while calling on all 196 countries to display a united response to the U.S. decision.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest disputes between Israel and Palestine, and Palestinian leaders accused Trump of sowing instability by overturning decades of U.S. policy. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move that is not internationally recognized. Most foreign nations have avoided locating embassies there for fear of prejudging peace talks on the city's final status.

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