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Jordan, Egypt warn US against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Concerned over Trump's expected announcement of the US' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Jordan and Egypt both warn such a move would only fuel extremism and violence and stifle attempts to renew the Middle East peace process.

The foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt, the only Arab states to sign a peace treaty with Israel, warned against the reported decision by the Trump administration to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

 

 

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi tweeted that he had spoken to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the dangerous consequences of such a move.

 

Worshippers at the Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Worshippers at the Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Jerusalem

 

"The results of such a decision will be seen in the form of great anger throughout the Arab and Muslim world, further tension and destruction of efforts to establish peace," he wrote.

 

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri stressed to Tillerson the ramifications that such a decision would entail and the negative effects it would have on efforts to renew the peace process.

 

"The legal status of Jerusalem and its religious and historical status require caution in dealing with this sensitive issue, which has to do with the national identity of the Palestinian people and the status of Jerusalem among the Arab and Muslim peoples," Shukri said, expressing hope that the issue would be handled "with the necessary wisdom," and that the US would not make any rash decisions that could "inflame tensions in the region."

 

L to R: Shukri, Safadi and PLO chief Saeb Erekat (Photo: Reuters)
L to R: Shukri, Safadi and PLO chief Saeb Erekat (Photo: Reuters)

 

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit also addressed the issue, telling journalists upon his return to Cairo from Rome that the move will not serve peace and will only lead to further strife in the region.

 

"It is unfortunate that some insist on trying to carry out this move without paying minimal attention to its great dangers to the stability of the Middle East and the world in general," he said.

 

Aboul Gheit added in a statement published on the Arab league’s website that contacts are being held with the Palestinian Authority and Arab countries in order to coordinate the Arab position regarding any development on this issue.

 

"Today we say very clearly that taking such action is not justified ... It will not serve peace or stability, but will fuel extremism and resort to violence," he wrote.

 

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit (Photo: EPA)
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit (Photo: EPA)

 

Last week, reports surfaced that US President Donald Trump was planning to announce on Wednesday, December 6, that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and is giving serious thought on how to fulfill his election campaign pledge to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

 

Hopes were raised in Israel when US Vice President Mike Pence later said that Trump is actively considering "when and how" to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

 

US President Donald Trump (Photo: EPA)
US President Donald Trump (Photo: EPA)

 

Pence made the comment in remarks at Israel’s Mission to the United Nations in Queens, at an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ vote calling for the establishment of a Jewish state.

 

"President Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," stated Pence, after receiving a standing ovation from the crowd.

 

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