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Global outrage as Trump announces Jerusalem embassy move

Global outrage as Trump informs Jordan's King Abdullah, Egypt's Sisi of Jerusalem embassy move
3 min read
05 December, 2017
The Arab world is reacting in anger after Trump's shocking decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a break from previous US policy
Trump has disregarded repeated warnings of the "dangerous consequences" [Getty]

American president Donald Trump called both Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday to inform them of his intention to proceed with moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, amid a growing outcry across the Arab and Muslim worlds and beyond.

A Jordanian palace statement quoted King Abdullah as telling the US president that such a decision would have "dangerous repercussions on the stability and security in the region" and would obstruct US efforts to resume Arab-Israeli peace talks.

"Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world," the statement added.

Hours earlier, Trump informed his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas of his intention.

In a statement given by Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesperson for the Palestinian president, Abbas joined a mounting chorus of warnings.

"President Mahmoud Abbas received a telephone call from US President Donald Trump in which he notified the president of his intention to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."

Abbas "warned of the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world," Abu Rdainah said.

Trump is also expected to announce on Wednesday whether he supports Israel’s claim on Jerusalem as its capital, with officials hinting at a strong likelihood, breaking with decades of US policy.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its capital, a position nearly the entire world rejects saying its status should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.

Jerusalem is a key issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and many have warned against the far-reaching consequences of such a move.

In a statement, Hugh Lanning, Chair of the UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign described the move as a “dangerous disregard for international law, and for the stability of the region”.

He added, "by showing such disregard for the rights and claims of the Palestinian people, the US has ended any remaining pretence of even-handedness."

Fears of Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was met yesterday with angry calls for a summit by Muslim nations.

"Mr Trump! Jerusalem is a red line for Muslims," Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised speech, echoing alarm expressed by Palestinian and Arab leaders.

In his address, Erdogan warned that any move to back Israel's claim to the city would mobilise "the entire Islamic world" and threatened to sever Ankara’s recently-renewed diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Saudi Arabia, a key ally of Donald Trump, expressed its "grave and deep concern" but issued no warnings.

The Islamist Hamas movement has threatened to launch a new "intifada" or uprising in response to Trump's statement.

Palestinian political factions led by Abbas’ Fatah movement also called for daily protest marches this week, starting Wednesday.