U.S. President Donald Trump's so-called peace plan for the Middle East aims to legitimize Israel's occupation and destruction of Palestine, Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) said in a statement Thursday.
"The U.S.' so-called peace plan aims to legitimize occupation, destruction and oppression of Palestine," the MGK said.
"The only solution is the establishment of an independent Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital," the council said in a statement issued following its meeting, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in the capital Ankara.
Trump on Tuesday unveiled the long-awaited peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, although it had already been roundly rejected by Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was with Trump at the White House for the announcement, but no Palestinian officials were present. In a news conference, Trump said that Jerusalem will remain Israel's "undivided capital."
Speaking later in the day, President Erdoğan described the plan an "occupation project.”
Speaking at the fifth Anatolian Media Awards ceremony in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said: "Jerusalem is not for sale."
Condemning the so-called "Deal of the Century," the president said, "Jerusalem is a red line for us."
Turkey also conveyed its concerns to Washington. Turkey's presidential spokesman, İbrahim Kalın, discussed the plan late Thursday in a phone call with U.S. national security adviser Robert O'Brien, as well as developments in Syria and Libya.
Kalın emphasized that Turkey supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestine state based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Turkey will not support any plan that Palestinians reject in the region, Kalın stressed over the phone.
Turkey’s foreign ministry reiterated that Turkey would not support any plan that is not accepted by Palestinian authorities, adding that peace in the Middle East would not be obtained if policies based on occupation did not end. The ministry also stressed that Jerusalem was a red line in the eyes of Turkey.
The so-called peace plan unilaterally annuls previous U.N. resolutions on the Palestinian issue and suggests giving Israel almost everything they have been demanding.
Following Trump's decision in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the issue was carried to the U.N. General Assembly after a draft resolution on the matter was vetoed 14-1 by the U.S. in the U.N. Security Council.
The U.N. General Assembly passed the draft resolution with 128 countries in favor, nine against and 35 abstentions on Dec. 21, 2017, asking the U.S. to withdraw its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state's "eternal and undivided" capital.
The MGK also touched upon other regional developments, particularly war-ravaged Syria and Libya.
The council stressed the importance of taking further measures against terrorism in various parts of Syria, especially Idlib.
The MGK also emphasized the need to preserve the cease-fire in Libya, saying “All countries invited to support efforts to establish (a) permanent cease-fire.”
“Turkey condemns attack in Somalia where Turkish citizens were among casualties,” the council further stated.
In the statement, the tensions between Iran and U.S. over the assassination of Quds Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani were also mentioned. The council reiterated its call for “common sense and clear-headedness.”