Mevlut Cavusoglu says Turkey will work harder for acceptance of Palestine with 1967 borders with E. Jerusalem as its capital.
The UN's 193-member General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution on Jerusalem with overwhelming majority, calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of the city as Israel's capital.
A total of 128 members voted in favor of the Jerusalem resolution, nine countries voted against and 35 others abstained.
Speaking to reporters following the voting, Cavusoglu said: “Today, the General Assembly clearly rejected the U.S. decision on Jerusalem. There was solidarity for Palestine and Jerusalem’s status in the General Assembly.”
He said Turkey would continue to support Palestine.
“We [Turkey] will work harder for acceptance of a Palestinian state with 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement shortly after the vote, which read: “Despite the U.S.'s unethical oppression and threats, the international community has shown that it remains committed to UN resolutions and international law on Jerusalem, and this result clearly revealed the unlawfulness of the U.S. administration's unfortunate decision.”
“Thus, the veto that the U.S. used in the Security Council on December 18 lost its validity and meaning,” it added. “As at the UN Security Council, the predominant majority of the international community has rejected the U.S. decision, which does not fit into human conscience.”
Before the voting, Cavusoglu made a speech at the UN General Assembly Special Session, speaking up for Jerusalem, “the city of three divine faiths”.
Hope for peace
“We’ll show that different ethnicities and religions can co-exist in peace in Palestine,” he said.
“This is the main parameter and only hope for a just and lasting peace in the region.”
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital violates international law and relevant UN resolutions, Cavusoglu said. “This decision is an outrageous assault to all universal values.”
Cavusoglu recalled the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul on Dec. 13, in which East Jerusalem was declared as Palestine’s capital.
He pointed to the significance of Jerusalem as a home for all three monotheistic religions and said: “It is the responsibility of entire humanity to preserve its historic status."
Cavusoglu added: “It is unethical to think the votes and dignity of member states are for sale. Let me put it this way: We will not be intimidated.”
Trump said Wednesday at the White House: "They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes. Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”
He added: "This isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars and nobody knows what they're doing."
However, Cavusoglu responded: "You can be strong, but this does not make you right.
"A UN member threatened all other members. We were asked to vote 'no' or face the consequences."
He said that the vote in favor of Palestine had placed Turkey on "the right side of history," exactly like in 2012 when Palestine was granted the status of non-member observer state at the UN.
“It is our sincere hope that this vote will pave the way for much-needed peace and justice in the Middle East,” he added.
"Turkey will never let Al-Quds down. The Palestinian people will never be left alone. The world is bigger than five," he said.