Arab League chief warns Trump Jerusalem move could fuel violence
Natalia KOLESNIKOVA (AFP/File)
The Arab League chief said on Sunday a decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital would boost fanaticism and violence, and not serve the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Trump's son-in-law and Middle East peace envoy Jared Kushner told the Saban Forum on Sunday the president is close to a decision on whether to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"It is unfortunate that some are insisting on carrying out this step without any regard to the dangers it carries to the stability of the Middle East and the whole world," Ahmed Abul Gheit, head of the Arab League, told reporters in Cairo on Sunday.
Abul Gheit said the Arab League is closely following the issue and is in contact with the Palestinian authorities and Arab states to coordinate the Arab position if Trump takes the step.
Trump must decide on Monday whether to sign a legal waiver that would delay plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for another six months.
Every US president has done this since 1995, judging the time not ripe for such a move, and Trump is expected to begrudgingly do so for a second time this week.
But, according to diplomats and observers, he is also now expected to announce in a speech on Wednesday that he supports Israel's claim on Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestinian leaders are lobbying desperately against such a move, fearing it could provoke such fury in the Arab world it could sink peace hopes for a generation.
"Nothing justifies this act... it will not serve peace or stability, instead it will nourish fanaticism and violence," said Abul Gheit.
The move would "benefit only one side, which is the anti-peace Israeli government," he told reporters.
The Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi also weighed in on the "dangerous consequences" of the announcement in a Tweet Sunday.
"Spoke with #US Secretary of State Tillerson on dangerous consequences of recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel," he wrote. "Such a decision would trigger anger across #Arab #Muslim worlds, fuel tension & jeopardize peace efforts."
Israel took control of east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.
The Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
The traditional United States position is that the status of Jerusalem must be negotiated between the two sides.
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Arab league hopes their friends in the SD will prevent or try to block Trump.
Suppose the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthis annex a part of Saudi Arabia where the tombs of Muslim patriarchs are located, thus separating the Muslim world from a precious heritage, what would the Arab League think? It is not, therefore, more simple support unfailing to Israel but logic, undeniable good sense. Fanaticism and violence have already raged in the region for years: the 1st, 2nd and 3rd intifadas easily illustrate it, highly paid even from Ramallah with the money of the European taxpayer.