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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

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

55 mins ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.

55 mins ago - World

Scoop: Sudan wants to seal Israel normalization deal at White House

Burhan. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Three months after Sudan agreed to normalize relations with Israel, it still hasn't signed an agreement to formally do so. Israeli officials tell me one reason has now emerged: Sudan wants to sign the deal at the White House.

Driving the news: Israel sent Sudan a draft agreement for establishing diplomatic relations several weeks ago, but the Sudanese didn’t reply, the officials say. On Tuesday, Israeli Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen raised that issue in Khartoum during the first-ever visit of an Israeli minister to Sudan.

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