World condemns Trump’s Jerusalem recognition
Syria’s Foreign Ministry says President Donald Trump’s expected announcement to recognize of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “dangerous step” that will fuel global conflict.
The ministry in Damascus issued a statement on Wednesday calling Trump’s imminent move the “culmination of the crime of the seizing of Palestine and the displacement of the Palestinian people.”
It also urged Arab states to stop normalizing relations with Israel.
Israel has mainly stayed out of the conflict in Syria, though it has carried out a number of airstrikes against suspected arms shipments believed to be bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which is fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.
Two leading Lebanese newspapers have issued front page rebukes to President Donald Trump over his expected announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The An-Nahar compares the U.S. president to the late British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, who a hundred years ago famously promised Palestine as a national home to the Jewish People, in what is known as the Balfour declaration.
The paper’s Wednesday headline reads: “Trump, Balfour of the century, gifts Jerusalem to Israel.”
The English-language Daily Star newspaper has published a full-page photo of Old City of Jerusalem capped by the Dome of the Rock beneath the headline: “No offense Mr. President, Jerusalem is the capital of PALESTINE.”
Pope Francis is calling for the status quo of Jerusalem to be respected and for “wisdom and prudence” to prevail to avoid further conflict.
Francis made the appeal during his weekly Wednesday audience, ahead of the expected U.S. announcement by President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Francis said he was “profoundly concerned” about recent developments, and declared Jerusalem a unique and sacred place for Christians, Jews and Muslims that has a “special vocation for peace.”
He appealed “that everyone respects the status quo of the city” according to U.N. resolutions.
He says: “I pray to the Lord that its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the “whole world is against” President Donald Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and eventually move the U.S. Embassy there.
Cavusoglu’s remarks came just before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
He says that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be a “grave mistake.”
Cavusoglu says such a move would “not bring any stability, peace but rather chaos and instability.”
The Turkish diplomat says the whole world is reacting, not just the Muslim world. He says he’s raised the issue with Tillerson in the past and plans to do so again.
Britain’s foreign secretary is expressing concern about reports that U.S. President Donald Trump might recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Boris Johnson says: “Let’s wait and see what the president says exactly, but we view the reports that we’ve heard with concern.”
He told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday that Britain thinks “Jerusalem obviously should be part of the final settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians — a negotiated settlement that we want to see.”
Johnson added: “We have no plans ourselves to move our embassy.”
President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests.
U.S. officials say Trump will also instruct the State Department on Wednesday to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
The officials said numerous logistical and security details, as well as site determination and construction, will need to be finalized first. Because of those issues, the embassy is not likely to move for at least 3 or 4 years, presuming there is no future change in U.S. policy.
The U.S. officials spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity Tuesday because they were not authorized to publicly preview Trump’s announcement.