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Erdogan, Putin Agree on Formation of Independent Palestinian State

A day after U.N. General Assembly adopted a Turkey-backed resolution rejecting the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin gave their full blessing for the creation of an independent Palestinian State.

During a phone call on Friday, the two leaders discussed the situation of the Middle East peace talks in the context of the resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on the status of Jerusalem,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Both President Erdogan and Mr. Putin “confirmed the mutual disposition to continue to assist in resolving the Palestine-Israeli conflict on the basis of international norms and realization of the right of the Palestinian people to create an independent state,” the statement said.

The resolution, jointly crafted by Turkey and Yemen, was accepted on Thursday by 128 votes in favor and nine against, while 35 countries abstained from the vote.

It was a stinging rebuke to U.S. President Donald J. Trump who threatened to cut aid to U.N. member states considering to endorse the motion. Majority of the member states demanded the U.S. rescind its Jerusalem decision.

Nikki R. Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., called the vote “null and void.”

She dismissed the motion, saying that “no vote in the United Nations will make any difference” on the U.S. plan to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

She struck a threatening tone, similar to President Trump, and pledged to reconsider U.S. financial commitment and assistance to the U.N.

Turkey has emerged an outspoken and vocal critic of the U.S. during the U.N. vote. President Erdogan castigated his U.S. counterpart for his threats.

“Mr. Trump, you cannot but with dollars Turkey’s democratic will. Our decision is clear,” the Turkish leader said in Ankara on Thursday ahead of the vote.

“I call on the whole world: Don’t you dare sell your democratic struggle and your will for petty dollars,” the president said in a call to the member states to ignore the U.S. threats.

“Before this meeting, a U.N. member state threatened all other members, we were all asked to vote “No” or face the consequences… This is bullying,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during his address at the General Assembly before the vote.

After the resounding victory in a collective defiance of the Trump administration, President Erdogan called on Mr. Trump to reverse his decision.

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