UN Security Council will convene in emergency session on Friday to tackle the US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the council’s leadership announced. Japan is the one that holds the UN’s rotating presidency.
The talks were requested by eight countries, Bolivia, Britain, Egypt, France, Italy, Senegal, Sweden and Uruguay.
After Trump’s announcement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Jerusalem’s final status could only be resolved through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that the American Embassy will be relocated there.
“That city is Israel’s capital. It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said at the White House. He added that the United States will build an American embassy in Jerusalem. The current embassy is in Tel Aviv, where most other countries have their embassies based.
“This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done,” the US President pointed out, admitting his decision was driven by a political campaign pledge. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering,” he argued.
Trump’s announcement was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “courageous and just decision,” however most of the US allies and the entire Arab world slammed the decision, warning it could jeopardize the current peace negotiations and could destabilize the entire Middle East region.
The European Union voiced “serious concern,” while UK dubbed the move as “unhelpful”. Germany has clearly said that it doesn’t support the US President’s decision, and France described it as “regrettable”.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has harshly criticized it as a “deplorable and unacceptable” move and said it proves America’s withdrawal as a sponsor of the peace process. Protests were staged in the Gaza Strip in response to US President Donald Trump’s move, as Palestinian leaders called for three days of rage against the move. Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets in Gaza City on Wednesday, waving banners denouncing Trump.
Turkey also called the decision “irresponsible” and illegal. Israel’s neighbors Jordan and Egypt both warned the decision violated international law and agreements, and could have highly negative consequences, while Iran said it would “provoke Muslims and inflame a new intifada,” according to timesofisrael.com. The Saudi Arabia has also condemned Trump’s decision saying it’s “irresponsible”.
Kremlin also voiced ‘concern about the possible deterioration of the situation in the event of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States.’ “However, it is premature to comment on the decisions that have not been made yet,” Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, as quoted by Tass agency, also adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had a phone conversation on this topic.
Until the 1967 war, Jerusalem was divided between Israel and Jordan. The western part housed the seat of Israel’s government. During the six-day war, Israel took control of the eastern part, that Palestinians consider the rightful capital of any future Palestinian state.