Trump's Jerusalem announcement draws global ire, except in Israel
MAHMUD HAMS (AFP)
US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has drawn sharp criticism from nearly every corner of the globe, with the significant exception of Israel.
- Israel salutes 'historic' day -
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump's recognition as "historic" and a "courageous and just decision".
Netanyahu also pledged no change to the status quo at Jerusalem's highly sensitive holy sites in the city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
- No longer a peace broker -
Palestinian president Mahomud Abbas said the US could no longer play the role of peace broker after Trump's decision.
"These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts," Abbas said in a speech.
- 'Destroys two-state solution' -
The secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization said Trump had destroyed any hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"He destroyed the two-state solution," Saeb Erekat, who long served as the Palestinians' top negotiator, told journalists.
- 'Open gates of hell' -
Hamas said Trump's decision would "open the gates of hell" on US interests in the region.
"This decision will open the gates of hell on US interests in the region," Ismail Radwan, an official with the Palestinian Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, told journalists.
- 'Unjustified and irresponsible' -
Saudi Arabia slammed Trump's move as "unjustified and irresponsible" and said the decision goes against the "historical and permanent rights of the Palestinian people".
"The kingdom has already warned of the serious consequences of such an unjustified and irresponsible move," said a Saudi royal court statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
- 'New intifada' -
Iran condemned the US move, saying it threatened a "new intifada", or uprising, against Israel.
"The provocative and unwise decision by the US... will provoke Muslims and inflame a new intifada and an escalation of radical, angry and violent behavior," the foreign ministry said on its website.
It is out of despair & debility that they want to declare #AlQuds as capital of the Zionist regime. On issue of #Palestine their hands are tied & they can't achieve their goals. Victory belongs to Islamic Ummah. Palestine will be free, Palestinian nation will achieve victory.— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) December 6, 2017
- UN against 'unilateral measures' -
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres implicitly criticized Trump's announcement, warning that Jerusalem's status must be resolved through direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
"From day one as secretary general of the United Nations, I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians," Guterres said.
There is no alternative to the two-state solution: two states living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition – with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine. pic.twitter.com/r95LPIZimg— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) December 6, 2017
- 'Palestinian cause' -
The office of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismissed Trump's move, saying in a statement it would not dim the "Palestinian cause".
"The future of Jerusalem is not set by a state or a president, but by its history, will, and the determination of those loyal to the Palestinian cause which will stay alive in the conscience of the Arab homeland until the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," it said.
- 'Rejected by Arab world' -
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri vowed his country's "highest degrees of solidarity with the Palestinian people and its right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital".
"The American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the embassy there is a step that is rejected by the Arab world and risks spilling dangers over into the region," he said.
- 'Violation of international law' -
Jordan condemned Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as amounting to a violation of international law and the UN charter.
"The decision of the American president to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the transfer of the US embassy to this city constitutes a violation of decisions of international law and the United Nations charter," said government spokesman Mohammed Momani.
- Indonesia summons US ambassador -
Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who leads the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, said he "condemned" Trump's decision on Jerusalem, and ordered the US ambassador in Jakarta to be summoned over the move.
"Indonesia strongly condemns the United States' one-sided recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and asks the US to reconsider this decision," Widodo said in televised remarks.
- 'Irresponsible, illegal' -
Turkey also slammed Trump's Jerusalem announcement.
"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.
We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US Administration declaring that it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and it will be moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) December 6, 2017
This decision is against international law and relevant UN Resolutions.
- 'Unhelpful for peace' -
Prime Minister Theresa May said the British government disagreed with Trump's decision, saying it was "unhelpful" for peace efforts.
"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".
UK disagrees with US decision to move embassy, but good to see commitment to two-state solution and that final status of Jerusalem must be determined in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. UK calls for calm in region.https://t.co/23w1esLWc2— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 6, 2017
Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, including occupied Palestinian territory, is a reckless threat to peace. The British Government must condemn this dangerous act and work for a just and viable settlement of the conflict.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) December 6, 2017
- 'Avoid violence' -
French President Emmanuel Macron branded Trump's stance as "regrettable" and called for efforts to "avoid violence at all costs".
Macron affirmed "the attachment of France and Europe to the two-state solution, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within internationally recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states".
- Merkel 'does not support' -
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said through her spokesman that she "does not support" Trump's reversal of decades of US policy.
"The status of Jerusalem can only be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution," spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter.
- Canada rejects -
Canada's foreign minister reiterated the country's position on the status of Jerusalem "can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute."
"We are strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel. We call for calm and continue to support the building of conditions necessary for the parties to find a solution," Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
- 'Uncontrollable consequences' -
Russia's foreign ministry issued a statement saying the move threatened security in the region and could lead to "uncontrollable consequences."
"Moscow views the decisions announced in Washington with serious concern," the statement said. "In light of this we call on all involved parties to show restraint and forgo any action that would be fraught with dangerous and uncontrollable consequences."
Moscow reiterated its long-held view that a solution to the dispute over Jerusalem's status should be negotiated through "direct Palestinian-Israeli talks".
- 'Serious repercussions' -
Qatar's emir warned Trump that his decision would have "serious repercussions", according to a statement from Doha's foreign ministry Thursday.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani "warned of the serious repercussions of this step, which would further complicate the situation in the Middle East and negatively affect the security and stability in the region," read a statement from the ministry, quoting the emir in a phone call with Trump.
An estimated 20,500 Palestinians live in Qatar, which has a population of around 2.7 million.
- 'Serious concern' -
The European Union's chief diplomat Federica Mogherini voiced "serious concern" at Trump's new stance on Jerusalem.
"The aspirations of both parties must be fulfilled and a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states," Mogherini said, referring to Israelis and Palestinians.
She issued fresh condemnation on Thursday, saying the decision could take the region "backwards to even darker times".
"President Trump's announcement on Jerusalem has a very worrying potential impact. It is a very fragile context and the announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we're already living in," Mogherini told a press conference in Brussels.
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