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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses with other leaders of Islamic nations prior to the opening session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul. Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis / AP

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said at a meeting of Muslim countries in Istanbul on Wednesday that it's "out of the question for a biased United States to be a mediator between Israel and Palestine," according to Reuters.

Why it matters: In a statement on the Turkish Foreign Ministry website, Reuters reports, the leaders labeled Trump's decision "as an announcement of the U.S. Administration's withdrawal from its role as sponsor of peace." Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called it "the greatest crime," per Reuters, and that the U.S. could not longer be trusted to play a part in negotiations due to suspected bias in Israel's favor.

  • Background: More than 50 Muslim countries sent leaders to the meeting in Turkey; an "Istanbul Declaration" given to journalists said that the leaders urged countries to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian territories, Reuters reports.
  • Israel's Channel 10 News reporter, and an Axios contributor, Barak Ravid tweeted a White House reponse on Wednesday to Abbas' remarks: "The United States continues to take no position on any final status and the United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides... We will continue to work on our plan for peace."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

2 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.

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