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Turkey, Jordan warn Trump Jerusalem speech may fuel terror

US President Donald Trump's call to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came as Washington contemplates a longer term military presence to influence the fate of Syria
Brendan Smialowski (AFP)
Erdogan has made several strong interventions on the issue in recent days

The leaders of Turkey and Jordan warned on Wednesday warned that Donald Trump's expected recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would fuel extremism and "play into the hands" of terrorists.

"Such a step will only play into the hands of terror groups," Turkish President Tayypi Recep Erdogan said at a joint news conference in Ankara after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Turkish outlet the Daily Sabah reported that Erdogan added that the expected move "will be the cause of indignation in the Islamic world. It will dynamite the foundation for peace and will light the wick of new works."

On Monday Erdogan had dangled the prospect of severing diplomatic relations with Israel over the move.

The Jordanian monarch, who had been personally informed by President Donald Trump of the move by telephone, also cautioned that "Jerusalem is key to any peace agreement (between Israel and the Palestinians) and is key to the stability of the entire region".

"Ignoring the Palestinian, Muslims and Christian rights in Jerusalem would only fuel further extremism and undermine the fight against terrorism," he added in English remarks.

He said he had sent a similar warning to Trump during their phone call on Tuesday.

He added that it was "imperative now to work fast" to reach a final status solution and a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis.

"This must allow the Palestinians to establish an independent state side by side with Israel and its capital in East Jerusalem."

He also warned that ignoring Muslim rights in Jerusalem "will only fuel further extremism and undermine the war against terrorism."

Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, however ties are often strained. 

Israel and Turkey fell out spectacularly after several Turks died in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010, but reached a settlement last year to patch up ties. 

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