By Nilay Kar Onum
ANKARA (AA) – U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has set the region ablaze, said Turkey’s president.
“Taking such a step throws particularly this region into a ring of fire. What would you like to do [with this step], Mr. Trump? What kind of stance is it?” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, at Esenboga Airport in the capital Ankara, before leaving for a visit to Greece.
Political leaders should work to bring peace, not stir things up, he added.
Calling Jerusalem “also a sanctuary for Christians,” Erdogan added that he would speak to Pope Francis about Trump’s decision this evening or on Friday.
Trump announced his decision on Wednesday despite widespread international opposition to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Ahead of his election last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Turkey will host an extraordinary meeting of the OIC on Dec. 13 to discuss the U.S. move.