Published: Sat, December 09, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pope, UN, others blame Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital

Pope, UN, others blame Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel capital

Following reports that U.S. President Donald Trump planned to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Pope Francis expressed his concern that such a move would further destabilize the Middle East.

Macron, thought to be one of the few world leaders with some leverage on Trump, is said to have spoken to the president earlier this week, when reports were afloat about the USA policy change, to try to convince him to change his mind. "Here, we are the right ones".

Indonesian president Joko Widodo, who leads the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, said he "condemned" Trump's decision on Jerusalem, and ordered the U.S. ambassador in Jakarta to be summoned over the move.

Erdoğan also reiterated that a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) would be held in Istanbul next week to display joint action over Jerusalem.

The pope spoke by telephone to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the crisis on Tuesday. The spokesman added that "the Palestinian stance is determined and steadfast - there will not be a Palestinian state without East Jerusalem as its capital according to decisions by the worldwide community".

In his appeal, Pope Francis said, "Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims who venerate the holy places of their respective religions, and has a special vocation to peace".

Erdoğan also called his Pakistani counterpart, Mamnoon Hussain, to discuss President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the presidency.

Critics say Trump's approach could extinguish his own much-vaunted efforts to broker Middle East peace while igniting the flames of conflict in a region already reeling from crises in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Qatar.

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But the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state and fiercely oppose any Israeli attempt to extend sovereignty there.

In the short term, Trump is expected to renew the six-month waiver that keeps the US embassy in Tel Aviv, though USA officials have said his announcement will be followed by instructions to the State Department to begin preparing for the move.

Trump is due on Wednesday to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and set in motion the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to the ancient city, senior U.S. officials said, a decision that upends decades of U.S. policy and risks fuelling further violence in the Middle East.

"This decision is a regrettable decision that France does not approve of and goes against worldwide law and all the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council", Macron told reporters at a news conference in Algiers.

He will, however, direct the State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy.

The statement said the decision is against global law and relevant United Nations resolutions, as the annexation of Jerusalem by Israel has been rejected by the worldwide community and the UN.

"France and Europe are attached to a two-state solution - Israel and Palestine with Jerusalem the capital of both states", he said, adding that Paris was ready to work with partners to find a solution.

In Rome, Pope Francis prayed that Jerusalem's status be preserved and needless conflict avoided.

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