The Turkish government has warned the US that it could spark a “major catastrophe” if President Trump follows through on his 2016 campaign promise to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The warning was made Monday during a press conference held by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag.
During the televised statement, Bozdag warned the US against either relocating its embassy or even recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, claiming that any change in the status quo could cause a “catastrophe”.
"If the status of Jerusalem is changed and another step is taken... that would be a major catastrophe.”
"It would completely destroy the fragile peace process in the region, and lead to new conflicts, new disputes and new unrest."
Bozdag also claimed that any moves to change the status quo vis-à-vis Jerusalem, including mere recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, would benefit "neither Israel ... nor the
"It would not benefit anything. Rather than open new doors, it would drag the region into a new disaster."
Inside sources have claimed to American and Israeli media outlets over the past two weeks that the president is poised to either relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem in the near future, or at least announce that the US is recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
Under the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, the president is obliged to move the embassy to Israel’s capital city, or sign a six-month waiver deferring the move on security grounds. Every president since Bill Clinton has signed the waiver every six months. President Trump signed the waiver once since coming into office, but according to at least some reports, is hesitant to renew the deferral.
The previous waiver expires on Monday, forcing the president to either renew the waiver immediately, or approve the relocation of the US embasys.