Saudi Arabia: Trump Jerusalem move marks 'drastic regression' of peace efforts

Friday, 08 Dec, 2017

Saudi Arabia's King Salman warned US President Donald Trump on Tuesday against moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, saying it will "inflame" the Muslim world.

Amid a frantic round of telephone diplomacy, Trump told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah of his "intention" to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, but crucially did not give a time-frame.

On today's "Israel Uncensored with Josh Hasten", Josh discusses reports indicating that while the US might not move it's Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem just yet, a dramatic announcement is expected from the Trump Administration acknowledging that Jerusalem is in fact the capital of the Jewish State.

"Such a unsafe step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque", he told Trump in a phone conversation between the two leaders, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The kingdom also reiterated its unwavering position on Jerusalem and its firm and lasting support for the Palestinian people in asserting their legitimate rights and establishing an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, it said.

The U.S. needs to "continue its efforts to achieve a just resolution for the Palestinian cause, in line with the Arab Peace Initiative and relevant global resolutions", he noted.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan's King Abdallah and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who all received phone calls from Trump on Tuesday, joined a mounting chorus of voices saying that any unilateral USA move on Jerusalem could unleash turmoil.

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"A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states", Mogherini said, stressing the EU's support for unlocking meaningful peace talks.

Although this step does not change or infringe upon the inalienable and preserved rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, and other occupied territories, and even though it can not impose a new reality upon those rights, it does however exemplify a drastic regression in the efforts to move the peace process forward, and is a shift away from the United States's historically impartial position with regard to the issue of Jerusalem, which will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"You can not take such a step".

Abbas' spokesman told Reuters the PA president also spoke with Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron and "urged them to intervene to prevent" the embassy move.