Washington (OIC-UNA) – Leaders and heads of state across the Middle East and the rest of the world warned of disastrous consequences as US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital � a decision that overturns decades of US policy.
Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital, the US leader declared from the White House. Acknowledging this as a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump said, urging calm and the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres implicitly criticized Trump’s decision, warning that the city’s status must be resolved through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, according to media reports. From day one as secretary-general of the UN, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians, Guterres said. Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides, Guterres said.
Pope Francis said that maintaining Jerusalem’s status quo was important in order to avoid adding new elements of tension to an already volatile world that is wracked by so many cruel conflicts. The European Union said in a statement that it expresses serious concern about announcement by Trump on Jerusalem and the repercussions this may have on the prospect of peace.
In a statement UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that the UK ‘disagrees’ with the US decision on Jerusalem, describing it as ‘unhelpful’. “We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital,” she said in a statement. “We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region”.
French President Emmanuel Macron branded as regrettable Trump’s decision, calling for efforts to avoid violence at all costs. This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against international law and all the resolutions of the UN Security Council, Macron told reporters at a news conference in Algiers.
Turkey slammed the announcement as irresponsible and illegal. We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US administration… the decision is against international law and relevant UN resolutions, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter.
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned after a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah that the move would play into the hands of terror groups. Erdogan has already called a summit meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Dec. 13 to discuss the issue.
Jordan rejected the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel saying it was “legally null” because it consolidated Israel’s occupation of the eastern sector of the contested city in the 1967 war. The announcement by President Trump violated past U.N. Security Council resolutions that “stipulated the non-recognition of the Israeli occupation” of the West Bank and the eastern sector of the city, government spokesperson Mohammad al-Momani told state news agency Petra. The kingdom also considered “all unilateral moves that sought to create new facts on the ground as null and void”, the government spokesman added.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has also expressed Egypt’s rejection of the move and of “any implications resulting from it,” in a statement issued. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that Trump’s announcement did not change the city’s legal status. Jordan condemned the move as amounting to a violation of international law and the UN charter. The decision of the American president constitutes a violation of decisions of international law and the United Nations charter, said government spokesman Mohammed Momani.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said that Trump’s Jerusalem decision was dangerous and threatened the credibility of the United States as a broker of the peace process in the region. The decision has put back the peace process by decades, and threatens regional stability and perhaps global stability, Aoun said in a statement. Tunisia’s foreign ministry also warned that Trump’s move “seriously threatens to undermine the foundations of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”
Mohammed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Egypt’s former vice president who now lives in self-imposed exile, suggested Arabs do have options, including radically reducing the billions of Arab money flowing to America and a radical downsizing of diplomatic, military and intelligence relations with the US. Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Imam of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque, said: It incites feelings of anger among all Muslims and threatens world peace. The gates of hell will be opened in the West before the East, he added.
Source: International Islamic News Agency