Turkey has reiterated its stance on the Palestinian cause and urged the international community to join forces against Israel's attempts to weaken the two-state solution in Palestine.
Speaking at a ministerial committee on Palestine as part of the 18th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday said: "In order to support the Palestinian nation, the international community should act against Israel's efforts to weaken two-state solution.”
Çavuşoğlu said he stands by the legitimate fight of NAM, which was established to support decolonization, independence and national solidarity, for freedom and self-determination of the Palestinian nation and noted that the Palestinian cause is going through one of the toughest periods of its history.
The minister said Israel's occupation and expansionist policies are ongoing in Palestine and added that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's latest remarks during his election campaign reiterated his vision to turn the state into a "racist apartheid state."
Stressing that the Palestinian people are constantly living in a state of emergency, he called on NAM members to urge Israel to comply with international law.
"We need to put pressure on Israel to avoid more harmful activities, including new illegal settlement area decisions, violation of the rights of the Palestinians and attempts to erode Jerusalem's legal and historical conditions," he said.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the perennial Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel since 1967 – might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
The Israeli-Palestinian peace process collapsed in mid-2014 due to Israel's continued refusal to halt West Bank settlement building and accept pre-1967 borders as a basis for a two-state solution.
Çavuşoğlu also said the recognition of Palestine by the international community as a whole is "compulsory" for lasting peace.
"I call on all members that do not recognize Palestine to do it," he said.
The meeting, hosted by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, included Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Alberto Arreaza and Permanent Observer of Palestine to the U.N. Riyadh Mansour.
Officials from Bangladesh, Algeria, Indonesia, South Africa, India, Colombia, Cuba, Malaysia, Egypt, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Zimbabwe also attended the meeting.
The NAM is a forum of 120 primarily developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It was established within the context of the Cold War in a bipolar world structure. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.
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