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US lost 'mediator role' in Middle East with embassy move, says Turkish president

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives a speech at Chatham house in central London on May 14, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the United States has lost its role as mediator in the Middle East by moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds

Speaking on the Chatham House international affairs think tank in London on Monday, Erdogan said US had now become part of the problem not the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

"With its latest step America has chosen to be a part of the problem, not a solution, and lost its mediator role in the Middle East peace process," Erdogan said. 

"We are rejecting once again this decision which violates international law and which is against UN resolutions," he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Turkish president also called the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem-al-Quds "very, very unfortunate" and said it "will increase tensions and ignite an even greater fire between communities."

"The international community must do its part as soon as possible and take swift action to put an end to Israel's increasing aggression," Erdogan stressed.

"The establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital is the only way for lasting peace and stability," he noted.

The remarks come as the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds in a ceremony attended by a White House delegation and Israeli regime officials on Monday. 

The US moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem al-Quds after months of global outcry. 

In the hours leading up to the inauguration, Israeli troops engaged in clashes with Palestinians taking part in mass protests on the Gaza border.

Israeli gunfire killed at least 43 Palestinians in the ongoing Monday clashes -- the highest toll in a single day since a series of protests demanding the right to return to ancestral homes began on March 30.

The embassy inauguration also coincides with the climax of a six-week demonstration on the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), May 15, when Israel was created.  

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Trump on December 6, 2017 announced US recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said Washington would move US embassy to the city. 

The dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries.

The status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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