Opinions split over Trump’s Jerusalem move, UN calls Security meet

RSTV Bureau
Jerusalem : A view of Jerusalem Old City seen from Mount of Olives, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017. AP/PTI

Jerusalem : A view of Jerusalem Old City seen from Mount of Olives, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

The United States’ decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has stirred divided opinions across the world with host of countries raising concerns to even disagreeing with the move. The United Nations has called an urgent meeting of Security Council this Friday.

Reacting to the developments, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said the British government disagreed with US President Donald Trump’s decision terming it “unhelpful” for peace efforts.

“We disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital,” she said in a statement adding, “We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”

May also reaffirmed that Britain’s embassy to Israel would remain in Tel Aviv and her government’s belief that the status of Jerusalem “should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians”.

“Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states,” said May. “We regard East Jerusalem as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

She, however, said UK shared Trump’s “desire to bring an end to this conflict”.

“We welcome his commitment today to a two-state solution negotiated between the parties, and note the importance of his clear acknowledgement that the final status of Jerusalem, including the sovereign boundaries within the city, must be subject to negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

May also urged the US to submit “detailed proposals” for an Israel-Palestinian settlement and called on all sides to refrain from violence.

Echoing Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel too said she “does not support” the US decision.

The German government “does not support this position because the status of Jerusalem can only be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution,” spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter.

German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, for his part, said he feared Trump’s decision would lead to a “new escalation in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians”.

The European Union’s chief diplomat Federica Mogherini too voiced “serious concern”, saying “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”.

Condemning US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Iran said it threatened a “new intifada”, or uprising.

“The provocative and unwise decision by the US… will provoke Muslims and inflame a new intifada and an escalation of radical, angry and violent behaviour,” said the Iranian foreign ministry in a statement on its website.

Meanwhile, UN Security meet has been slated for this Friday after eight countries — Bolivia, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay – sought an urgent discussion.

Jerusalem’s status can only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said underlining “there is no alternative to the two-state solution.”

Guterres added that he had “consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures.”

Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump’s move “a reckless and a dangerous decision which goes against international law, the resolutions of the Security Council.”

“It’s a threat not just to the peace process, but also it’s a threat to international peace and security,” said the envoy.

(With inputs from Agencies)