Abbas calls on Trump not to move embassy to Jerusalem

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv.
CC-BY Krokodyl, Wikimedia Commons
Palestinian leader warns move would have 'disastrous impact' on security of entire region

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump, calling on the latter not to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian media reported Monday.

According to Israel Radio, Abbas listed the dangers of such a move and warned the move would have a "disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region."

Trump has said he plans to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a controversial move bitterly opposed by Palestinians as a unilateral action while the status of the city remains contested.

Israel supports the move and has encouraged previous presidents to take similar steps to no avail.

Abbas also sent letters to other world powers including Russia, China and the European Union, calling on them to "spare no effort" to prevent the United States from making the move, Wafa said.

The Palestinians regard East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel proclaims the entire city as its undivided capital.

The United States and most UN member states do not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the city's status is one of the thorniest issues of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway last month told a US radio channel moving the embassy was a "very big priority" for the president-elect.

Trump has also nominated David Friedman, a supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as his ambassador to the Jewish state.

In a Trump transition team statement last month, Friedman said he wanted to work for peace and looked forward to "doing this from the US embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem".

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967 and subsequently annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

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