Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blasted a plan for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict presented by Donald Trump, saying the proposal is a blatant attempt to ‘legitimize Israel’s occupation’ of Palestinian territories.
Erdogan, a long-time critic of Israeli policies, lashed out at the US-proposed roadmap in a Wednesday interview with journalists who were accompanying him on his return from a three-country visit to Africa.
“This is the plan to ignore the Palestinians’ rights and legitimize Israel’s occupation,” Erdogan said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
The remark is in line with criticisms voiced earlier by other Turkish officials. The Foreign Ministry branded Trump’s plan “stillborn” and said it was aimed at “killing the two-state solution and stealing Palestinian lands.”
Last September, Erdogan used the floor of the UN General Assembly to denounce the expansion of Israeli control since 1947. He even used the favourite tool of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a big fan of visual props, and showed the international audience a series of maps to illustrate his argument.
The proposed deal, which US officials have touted as a pragmatic and realistic approach to the real situation on the ground, envisions a Palestinian state comprising of several enclaves connected by roads and mostly surrounded by Israeli territory. The state would have to subject its security to the policies of the Israeli government. The ‘carrot’ is the promise of a multibillion dollar investment and a promise to freeze construction of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian lands for four years.
Palestinian authorities rejected the terms of the deal. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the plan a “conspiracy” and stressed that Palestinian rights are “not for sale.” Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu praised it as “the opportunity of the century”.