Turkish PM slams Israel as Arabs seek joint move on Jerusalem

Arab states have sought on Saturday a joint action against Israeli plans in Jerusalem which Palestinians says have been judaized by Israel.

Turkish PM slams Israel as Arabs seek joint move on Jerusalem

World Bulletin / News Desk

Arab states have sought on Saturday a joint action against Israeli plans in Jerusalem which Palestinians says Israel aimed to judaize as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Palestine issue was the most important problem which needed an immediate solution in the region.

"We have to study the possibility that the peace process will be a complete failure," Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said on Saturday in his opening speech to the Arab League summit in the Libyan town of Sirte.

"It's time to face Israel. We have to have alternative plans because the situation has reached a turning point," he said.

As an alternative solution by Arab states, the leaders are also due to discuss a number of strategies, including keeping a record of what they consider to be Israeli "violations" in Jerusalem to refer them to higher bodies such as the International Criminal Court, based in the Hague in the Netherlands.

The troubled Middle East peace process suffered a fresh setback this month when Israel announced a decision to build 1,600 new homes in a settlement near east Jerusalem.

Speaking to Arab leaders at a summit of the Arab League , Moussa said the negotiation efforts had reached a turning point and that it was time for Arab states to stand up to Israel.

"The peace process has entered a new stage, perhaps the last stage. We have accepted the efforts of mediators.

"We have accepted an open-ended peace process but that resulted in a loss of time and we did not achieve anything and allowed Israel to practise its policy for 20 years."


Erdogan said the international community faced a new and tough test in regard to reviving peace process there, Anadolu agency reported.

"Jerusalem is of great importance for whole region and Islamic world. Israel's attacks on Jerusalem and sacred places cannot be accepted," he said.

Israel's blockade of Gaza caused a human tragedy before eyes of the international community, Erdogan said.

"5,000 families in Gaza are living in tents. Humanity should raise its voice against this situation," he said.

Regarding Palestine issue, Premier Erdogan said this blockade must be ended as soon as possible and international community should do anything necessary to normalize conditions in the region.

Arab leaders are expected to ratify an agreement drafted by their foreign ministers to raise $500m in aid to improve the living conditions for Palestinians in Jerusalem as part of a "rescue" plan for the city.

A senior Palestinian official said the money would go towards improving infrastructure, building hospitals, schools, water wells and providing financial support to those whose houses have been demolished by Israeli authorities.

Dialogue with Tehran

He also said the Arab League should open a dialogue with Tehran to address concerns, especially among Iran's neighbours across the Gulf, about its nuclear programme.

On Iran, Moussa acknowledged member states had differences with Tehran, but said they had common interests too.

"We have to open a dialogue with Iran. I know there is a worry among Arabs regarding Iran but this situation confirms the necessity of a dialogue with Iran," he said.

Regional grouping with Turkey

The Arab League chief also proposed creating a regional grouping that would bring together Arab states and Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was a guest of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at the summit.

Erdogan said Turks and Arabs shared not only a common geography but also a common culture, common civilization and common belief.

All problems in the region could be overcome by a sound cooperation, he said.

Turkey attached a great importance to Arab League and was pleased with its effective influence in regional and global politics, Erdogan said.

"Turkey is ready to cooperate with Arab League in any area. It will do what it can on the matter," he said.

Gaddafi, who is taking over the Arab League's rotating presidency, used his speech at the summit to castigate what he said was years of failure by Arab states to take strong collective action in standing up to Israel.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mart 2010, 09:03