Türkİye, Europe

Turkish president, UN chief discuss Russia-Ukraine war, Jerusalem tensions

Israel's interventions against worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque is 'unacceptable,' Erdogan tells Guterres

Sefa Mutlu   | 17.04.2022
Turkish president, UN chief discuss Russia-Ukraine war, Jerusalem tensions

ISTANBUL

Over the phone on Sunday, the Turkish president and UN chief discussed the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and recent tensions in Jerusalem.

"We had a phone talk with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres. In our conversation, we discussed regional developments, especially the incident in Jerusalem and the Ukraine-Russia war," Turkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter.

Erdogan also said he stressed the importance of the Istanbul process for the Russia-Ukraine peace talks and efforts to settle disagreements between the parties.

At least 1,982 civilians have been killed and 2,651 injured in Ukraine since the war started on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates, with the true figure believed to be much higher.

More than 4.8 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with over 7 million more internally displaced, said the UN refugee agency.

The leaders also addressed the recent tensions in Jerusalem, as Erdogan told Guterres that Ankara strongly condemns Israel's interventions against worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and finds it "unacceptable."

They also evaluated the joint steps that can be taken to achieve peace in the region.

Tension has mounted across the Palestinian territories since Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard on Friday amid clashes with worshippers, injuring hundreds.

On Sunday, more than 700 Israeli settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex under heavy police protection to celebrate the week-long Jewish Passover holiday, which started on Friday.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.​​​​​​​

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