Turkey on Thursday slammed a visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

“Behind this visit lies the aim of legitimizing Israel’s illegal actions in the occupied Palestinian territories,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.

Describing the move as “an extremely grave step,” it said the visit violated articles of international law, including Resolution 2334 passed in 2016 by the UN Security Council, of which Washington is a permanent member.

It added that such irresponsible and unilateral steps would not be able to harm the established international parameters for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the relevant UN resolutions or the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people.

Calculated actions like these are doomed to be fruitless, the ministry said, adding: “We will continue to protect the legitimate rights of our Palestinian brothers and sisters arising from international law and to defend the just cause of Palestine.”

*Writing by Handan Kazanci

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