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Turkish president slams Israel for heading toward isolation
Last Updated: 2017-07-25 10:24 | Xinhua
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Monday that Israel was heading toward isolation because of measures imposed at the Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem.

"The restrictions at Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel's government are unacceptable," Erdogan said at a press conference at Ankara Esenboga airport after returning from a two-day visit to the Gulf region.

The steps that ignore Muslims' right to worship and the holiness of Al-Aqsa are intensifying tension in the region, he said, calling on Israel to respect the rule of law and humanitarian values.

"Israel, with its disregard for the rule of law, not only harms itself but also the whole region," Erdogan was quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency as saying.

Erdogan held a phone call with Jordanian King Abdullah II later Monday. Both leaders agreed that Israeli restrictions on Al-Aqsa Mosque must be lifted, according to the Turkish presidency's officials.

Israel's imposition of metal detectors on the site last week triggered protests that left at least three Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded as clashes between Palestinian and Israeli forces broke out in several cities across the West Bank after Friday prayers.

The Turkish president stressed that Turkey expects Saudi Arabia to play a key role in resolving the Gulf crisis, adding that the country should act as the "older brother" in finding a solution.

During the two-day visit to the Gulf region, Erdogan met Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and held talks with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as part of his efforts to solve the Gulf crisis between Qatar and four Arab countries.

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