U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital drew reaction from Arab countries of Qatar, Lebanon and Egypt, on late Wednesday.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdurrahman Al-Sani called the decision a 'death sentence for peace'.
Speaking to Doha-based Al Jazeera television, Al-Sani said that this incident, which means a serious tension raise in the Palestinian cause, concerns not only the Palestinian people but all Arabs and Muslims.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Ministry of Foreign Affairs also denounced Trump’s move on Jerusalem.
Hariri said on his Twitter account that Lebanon deplores and rejects the decision, and it is insolidarity with the Palestinian people.
“[Lebanon announces] their [Palestinian’s] right to the creation of an independent state whose capital is Jerusalem,” he added.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun also reacted to the decision with a written statement from the press office.
"The U.S. president's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel threatens the peace process and the stability in the region. The Arab countries must be in unity against it."
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also deplored the Jerusalem decision of the U.S. with a written statement.
“Egypt condemns the U.S.’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its ambassador to Jerusalem. Such unilateral steps contrary to international agreements will not change the legal status of Jerusalem as it is under occupation.”
Earlier Wednesday, Trump announced his decision despite widespread international opposition to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Turkey slams 'unacceptable' US Jerusalem move
Turkey condemned on Wednesday the U.S. administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."We condemn the irresponsible statement of the U.S. administration declaring that it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and it will be moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote on his Twitter account.“This decision is against international law and relevant UN Resolutions," he added.Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement on the U.S. announcement."We condemn the irresponsible statement of the U.S. administration that we learnt with great concern, declaring that it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and it will be moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem," the statement read.The statement said the decision is against international law and relevant UN Resolutions, as the annexation of Jerusalem by Israel has been rejected by the international community and the UN."It has been recurrently emphasized by various UN Resolutions that the Palestinian question can only be settled through the existence of an independent, sovereign and contiguous State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital."It is unacceptable that the U.S., a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, ignores this fact. Attainment of independence by Palestine is a historical, conscientious and human obligation. Turkey will continue to advocate this," the statement added.It further stated that the decision will have negative reflections on the peace and stability in the region and also bears the risk of completely destroying the grounds for peace.It called on the U.S. administration to reconsider "this faulty decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid uncalculated steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem"."These developments regarding Jerusalem will be taken up extensively at the OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation] Leaders’ Summit and the Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting that will be held on 13th December 2017 in Istanbul upon the call made by H.E. President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan as the Summit Chair of the OIC," the statement concluded.Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik also denounced the move, calling it a “provocation”."Trump and Netanyahu’s decision, which will put the world to face fresh conflicts, to overcome their political difficulties is totally provocation to hopes of peace,” Celik tweeted.“The whole world must condemn Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem,” Celik underlined.He noted that Jerusalem and the Palestinian people “will never be left alone”.“This is a decision that should be embarrassed politically and morally,” Celik said adding: “Trump has made a heavy attack on all peace efforts in the Middle East. He also publicly declared that he did not recognize international law,” with the decision.Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also said the U.S. and its president who made this decision will be the first responsible for any kind of negative developments in the region afterwards.Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın also called the decision “null and void” for Turkey.“It is frankly a ridiculous assessment that the American authority described this as a contribution to peace.”This is an attempt to legalize the actual situation that would abolish all peace initiatives, and it is aimed at opening deep wounds in the Middle East, Kalın added.Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also denounced the decision and said: “Trump put a bomb in the middle of Jerusalem. Deeply wounded us, the Middle East, deeply wounded everybody who was desperate for peace.”He also said that they will support Palestinian brothers and sisters in their rightful fight, till the end.
US' Jerusalem decision 'null and void' says Turkish PM
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım called the U.S. declaration as ‘null and void’ for Turkey, in a written statement Thursday.“The U.S. President’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the steps related to it are null and void for Turkey,” he said, adding that the decision is a heavy blow to Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts and the Middle East peace process.“Pandora's box was opened in the region with the decision.”He also added that the decision, which will root out the peace in Palestine and the Middle East and is an example of total irresponsibility taken with political concerns.“I strongly condemn those who took this decision. As always, the status of all the holy places of Jerusalem, especially the Masjid al-Aqsa, is respected and it has a vital importance not to present a fait accompli.”Yıldırım also stated that the necessary counter steps will be decided along with the leaders of the Islamic world after discussing the issue with all dimensions, during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).Earlier Wednesday, Trump announced his decision despite widespread international opposition to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.During his election campaign last year, Trump repeatedly promised to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Turkey will host an extraordinary meeting of the OIC on Dec. 13 to discuss the U.S.’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israeli capital
The U.S. is formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday brushing aside broad-based international opposition.He is also directing the State Department to initiate the relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city Jerusalem, which is claimed by Israelis and Palestinians. The move is expected to take a number of years."My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," Trump said during a public address from the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House.“There will of course be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement -- but we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a place of greater understanding and cooperation,” he said. "This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality."But Mark Perry, a former advisor to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, disputed Trump's characterization."It is anything but," he told Anadolu Agency.Iran’s Rouhani calls for uprising on US Jerusalem moveThe president's decision places the U.S. at odds with decades of American policy, as well as the rest of the international community, except Israel. No nation has its embassy in Jerusalem. It is also likely to stymy any effort to restart long-stalled peace Israeli-Palestinian peace talks."All of America's most important allies advised the president against this decision," said Perry. "And, so it is -- in satisfying Israel, America is isolated and alone once again. This is not the action of a great power, but one in retreat."Palestinians have been seeking East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state during peace talks. It has been occupied by Israel since 1967.UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stressed the importance of a two-state solution after Trump said the U.S. would support it "if agreed to by both sides."Guterres told reporters at the UN's New York headquarters that it is only by realizing the vision of two states "living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations" that the aspirations of both parties can be achieved.Hamas declares ‘day of rage’ over Jerusalem crisisLong-time Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has dropped his support for the proposal after appearing to publicly endorse it in 2009.In the waning days of former President Barack Obama’s administration, then-Secretary of State John Kerry said Palestinians have a shared claim to Jerusalem. Netanyahu condemned Kerry's speech at the time, calling it "unbalanced.”Trump will sign a six-month waiver off-setting the embassy's relocation on national security grounds in order to avoid cuts to the State Department budget during the transition period, according to an official knowledgeable on the matter.Successive U.S. presidents of both parties have signed the waiver since the Jerusalem Embassy Act went into law in 1995, perpetually forestalling the building's legislated move over concerns it could spark a diplomatic crisis and be a death knell for peace talks."Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgement based on facts as they understood them at the time," Trump said referring to past presidents who signed the waiver. "Nevertheless the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result."İbrahim Karagül: Jerusalem has been abandonedNonetheless, the decision was met with opposition from activists."Trump had the gall to call his upheaval of decades of strategic White House policy a 'new approach',” said Emily Mayer, a national coordinator with IfNotNow, a progressive Jewish-American group that opposes the Israeli occupation."But this is not a new approach — it is an act of incitement from the Trump administration against Palestinians and a recipe for disaster. Today’s announcement only entrenches Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian land and drives Israelis and Palestinians farther away from the lasting 'peace' he so callously talked about," she told Anadolu Agency.But the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group in the U.S., said Trump's declaration "acknowledges that Jerusalem will continue to be Israel’s capital as part of any conceivable final status agreement.Video: Erdoğan: Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims"Today's action by President Trump is an important, historic step for which we are grateful. We urge the president to quickly relocate our embassy to Israel's capital," it said in a statement.Palestinian leaders have already called for three “days of rage” to contest Trump’s decision.Jerusalem is considered holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, and changes to the contested city’s status quo have been historically met with fierce opposition.Israel’s decision to restrict Muslim access to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in 2015 set off widespread street violence between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. And an Israeli decision to install controversial metal detectors at the mosque's entrance earlier this year was ultimately reversed after being met with mass protests by Palestinians.In making his announcement, Trump called on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem's holy sites, including Haram al-Sharif, or the Aqsa compound.Vice President Mike Pence will visit the region "in the coming days to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations", Trump said.