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The world reacts to Trump’s Jerusalem recognition

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US President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday has been met with widespread condemnation from many world leaders, including staunch allies of the United States and the United Nations, reported Asian Correspondent (Malaysia).

Protests erupted outside US embassies in a number of Arab states, as well as in the Gaza Strip, after Trump’s declaration, which included his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the religious city – making the US the only country in the world to do so.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded Trump’s move, calling it an “historic day.” He also thanked the president for his “courageous and just decision.”

He added that any peace accord with the Palestinians would have to include Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – a sticking point that has been declared non-negotiable by both sides – and he urged other countries to follow Trump’s example.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the move will “not give any legitimacy to Israel,” calling Jerusalem the “eternal capital of Palestine” in a statement on Wednesday. Palestinian leaders have called for three days of rage against the move.

Leaders from across the Arab world also voiced concern over the incendiary move that goes against decades of US foreign policy.

Leaders from Egypt and Jordan brushed off Trump’s action, saying it did not affect the legal status of Jerusalem. Leabanon’s President Michel Aoun called it “dangerous.”

Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, said Trump’s undertaking was a “death sentence for all who seek peace.”

Saudi Arabia denounced the move, calling it “irresponsible and unwarranted.”

The condemnation has stretched far beyond the Arab world. Leaders in Asia Pacific and Europe were also quick to question Trump’s decision.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has long voiced support for the Palestinian people. On Thursday the government released an official response to Trump’s declaration, calling on the US to reconsider its decision. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the decision will have “grave repercussions” for the stability of the region, as well as making “efforts to combat terrorism all the more difficult.”

Prime Minister Najib Razak called on Muslims everywhere to strongly oppose the change in tack from the US. Speaking at an annual gathering of the ruling UMNO party in Kuala Lumpur, Najib said:

“I call on all Muslims across the world to let your voices be heard, make it clear that we strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for all time.”

Indonesia’s foreign minister joined the chorus of criticism on Thursday when she spoke at the Bali Democracy Forum. Minister Retno Marsudi rebuked the United States, saying that as a democratic country, “the US should know what democracy means.”
According to the Jakarta Post, Retno declared that “Indonesia will always stand with Palestine,” as she addressed the delegations of 99 countries, including the US.

Prior to Trump’s announcement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing that the status of Jerusalem was a complicated and sensitive issue and China was concerned the US decision “could sharpen regional conflict”.

“All parties should do more for the peace and tranquillity of the region, behave cautiously, and avoid impacting the foundation for resolving the long-standing Palestine issue and initiating new hostility in the region,” Geng said.
State-run news outlet China Daily called the move “dangerously foolhardy,” saying it would “open a Pandora’s box of turmoil in the region” evoking consequences that will be felt worldwide.

Both the prime minister of the United Kingdom and the leader of the opposition condemned the move.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron said he does not approve of Trump’s decision.


The UN on Wednesday agreed to an emergency session of the Security Council after eight nations requested talks on US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Trump had earlier announced his administration would begin the process of formally moving its embassy to Jerusalem to recognize the change of Jerusalem's status in the eyes of the United States government, reported Deutsche Welle (Germany).

With his recognition of Israel's claim, Trump is seen by many — particularly Palestinians — as siding with Israel in a conflict in which Washington is supposed to be brokering a peace agreement.
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, to be the capital of any future Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution. Trump's statement did not refer to East or West Jerusalem and instead treated the city as one.
No government other than Israel's spoke out in favor of the US decision, but many issued statements criticizing the move.

Bolivia, Britain, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay, which requested the talks, asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to open the meeting with remarks. The emergency session is set to take place on Friday.

After Trump's announcement, Guterres had said the final status of Jerusalem needed to be resolved in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Guterres said he had "consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures."

Hamas calls for 'day of rage'
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Trump had destroyed his credibility as a peace broker in the Middle East. In a televised statement, Abbas said the decision was, for the US, "a declaration of withdrawal from the role it has played in the peace process."

The move is seen as likely to stoke tensions across an already unstable region. The Palestine Liberation Organization announced a strike across the West Bank on Thursday. Hamas, meanwhile, called for a "day of rage" on Friday.

Abbas said the Palestinian leadership would meet in the coming days and consult with Arab leaders to formulate a response.

Some of the anger felt across the Muslim world was voiced by Turkey and Iran, both of which are vying for regional influence. Turkey condemned the decision as "irresponsible" and illegal, while Iran said it would "provoke Muslims and inflame a new intifada."

'Unjustified and irresponsible'
A statement from the Royal Court of US ally Saudi Arabia said it "followed with sorrow" Trump's decision, saying it represented a bias against the rights of Palestinian people.
"The kingdom has already warned of the serious consequences of such an unjustified and irresponsible move," the statement said.

Berlin has said plainly that it "does not support" Trump's decision, which Germany's acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said might "pour oil into the fire."

"I think that it really runs the risk that an already difficult situation in the Middle East and in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians could now escalate further," the acting foreign minister told German public broadcaster ARD.

Other European US allies have also responded negatively, with Britain describing the move as "unhelpful" and France calling it "regrettable."

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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Category: Politics
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