World leaders reacted with concern and anger to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel itself was the only country celebrating the announcement that its American ally would be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv.
In his reaction, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “these reprehensible measures constitute a deliberate undermining of all peace efforts.
Abbabas also said that the action represents a declaration that the United States has withdrawn from playing the role it has played in the past decades in sponsoring the peace process.”
Reacting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Trump’s decision was an important step towards peace.
“There is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.
“I share President Trump’s commitment to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbours, including the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said.
A Saudi government spokesman said: “the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hopes that the U.S. administration will reverse this action, and support the international will to enable the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel while reacting said: “the government does not support this stance because the status of Jerusalem is to be negotiated within the framework of a two-state solution.”
Also, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said 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.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “we disagree with the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement.
“We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region.”
In a statement, Egyptian Foreign Ministry said: “such unilateral decisions violate international legitimacy resolutions and will not change the legal status of the city of Jerusalem as being under occupation.”
Also, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia called on the U.S. to consider withdrawing the decision.
Widodo said: “such unilateral recognition violates various resolutions of the UN Security Council of which the U.S. is a permanent member.
“It could also shake global stability.”
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said: “[It is] dangerous and threatening the credibility of the United States as a sponsor of the peace process in the region.”
In his reaction, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria said: “the future of Jerusalem is not determined by a state or a president, but by its history and the will and determination of the loyal people to the Palestinian cause”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres stressed that there was no alternative to the two-state solution to the lingering conflict between Israel and Palestinian.
The UN chief stressed that Jerusalem was an issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.
“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: there is no alternative to the two-state solution.
“There is no ‘Plan B’, Guterres said while speaking to the press at UN Headquarters in New York.
The UN chief stressed the need to realise the vision of two states “living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition, with Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine, and all final status issues resolved permanently through negotiations”.
According to him, it is only through that realisation that the legitimate aspirations of both peoples would be achieved.
“I understand the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people. It has been so for centuries and it will always be,” he added.
He also noted that since he took up his post as UN Secretary-General, he had consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.