New U.S. stance on Jerusalem draws global condemnation

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-12 22:20:02|Editor: Zhou Xin
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BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Further condemnation and opposition -- not only from Arab and Muslim countries but globally -- comes following U.S. President Donald Trump's acknowledgement of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and his decision to move the U.S. embassy there.

Speaking at a joint news conference on Monday with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Israel for taking advantage of the U.S. shift on Jerusalem as "an opportunity to ramp up oppression and violence against the Palestinians."

For his part, Putin said the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital does nothing to help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and is destabilizing the situation in the Middle East.

Erdogan stressed that Turkey and Russia share the same position on the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

As the chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Turkey had invited the Islamic leaders to attend an extraordinary summit on Wednesday in Istanbul, in a bid to draw up a roadmap for Muslim nations to follow as they oppose the U.S. decision.

In Cairo during a meeting on Monday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi stressed Egypt's support for establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Meanwhile, President Abbas said the U.S. decision was surprising at a time when the Palestinian Authority showed flexibility and readiness to reach a settlement based on the two-state solution and recognition of East Jerusalem as Palestine's capital.

The Arab Parliament also called on Monday for an urgent Arab summit to discuss ways to defy the recent U.S. stance on the Jerusalem issue.

The parliament decided to assign delegations representing the Arab Parliament to visit the African and European parliaments to hold meetings and demand an international rejection of the U.S. decision.

It further stressed the Arab and Islamic solidarity with the Palestinians to enhance recognition of the Palestinian state and its full membership in the United Nations.

Moreover, a growing rift seems to emerge between Israel and the United States on the one side, and Europe and the Palestinians on the other.

"We disagree with the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to begin preparation to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," read a joint declaration by the ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy, Sweden and Germany to the United Nations last Friday.

The five ambassadors said the U.S. decision "is not in line with Security Council resolutions and is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region."

At a meeting in Paris with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed "disapproval" of Trump's decision, calling it "dangerous for peace."

The European Union (EU)'s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday reiterated that the bloc backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Jerusalem as the capital of both parties along 1967 lines.

Speaking to the press before a meeting with the visiting Israeli prime minister, Mogherini said it is in Israel's interest to find a sustainable and comprehensive solution to the long-standing conflict.

The EU's top diplomat also condemned "in the strongest way" attacks on Jews "everywhere in the world" in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial decision.

The move has enraged the Palestinians and the Islamic world, as Jerusalem is revered as the third holiest site in Islam. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.

Violent clashes have erupted in the past days between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters in the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and West Bank.