By Yildiz Nevin Gundogmus
ANKARA (AA) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called Middle East peace plan ignores Palestinians' rights and attempts to legitimize Israel's occupation, said Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday.
Answering the questions of reporters on a return flight from his Africa tour, Erdogan said the plan will not serve peace and solution in the region. It ignores Palestinians' rights and attempts to legitimize Israel's occupation, he stressed.
"Jerusalem is sacred for Muslims and Trump's so-called peace plan proposing to leave Jerusalem to Israel is never acceptable," Erdogan added.
On Tuesday, Trump released his oft-delayed plan to end the Israel-Palestine dispute in the White House where Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was present, while Palestinian authorities were not represented.
During the news conference, Trump referred to Jerusalem as "Israel's undivided capital".
Palestine's Hamas decried the terms of the agreement saying: "This deal doesn't worth the paper it's written on and Jerusalem will remain for Palestinians."
- Astana, Sochi
Erdogan also criticized Russia's attitude on Syria, particularly on Idlib.
He said there is no such thing as the Astana process anymore, adding, “We should see what Turkey, Russia and Iran can do to revive it.”
If Turkey and Russia are loyal partners, it should reveal its attitude accordingly over Syria and Turkey, Erdogan said.
"If Russia abides by agreements [on Syria], so will we, but for now, Russia does not stick to neither Astana nor Sochi [agreements]."
In September 2018, Turkey and Russia in Sochi agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
But more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the zone since then, as the ceasefire continues to be violated.
In a fresh move, Turkey announced on Jan. 10 that a new ceasefire in Idlib would start just after midnight on Jan. 12.
But the regime and Iran-backed terrorist groups continued their ground attacks.
More than 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.
Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country.
- Coronavirus outbreak
On the coronavirus outbreak in China, Erdogan said Turkey is not in any trouble.
He said all kinds of measures and steps are taken by the authorities.
The death toll in China from the novel coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 132, the National Health Commission said Wednesday.
Some 5,974 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, have been reported in China.
It was reported that a total of 9,239 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.
The virus, which originated in Wuhan, has spread across 30 provinces in the country.
Tens of cases have also been reported in Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Germany, Malaysia, Australia and Vietnam.
* Writing by Fahri Aksut, Davut Demircan, Burak Dag, and Jeyhun Aliyev.