• Reuter staff

"Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will be a major catastrophe," Middle East leade


U.S. President Donald Trump has not yet made a decision on whether to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner said on Sunday, a move that would break with decades of U.S. policy and could fuel violence in the Middle East.

“He’s still looking at a lot of different facts, and then when he makes his decision, he’ll be the one to want to tell you, not me,” Kushner said at an annual conference on U.S. policy in the Middle East organized in Washington.

Past U.S. presidents have insisted that the status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions - must be decided in negotiations. The Palestinians want Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and the international community does not recognize Israel’s claim on the entire city.

"Any move by the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would fuel extremism and violence," Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Saturday.

A senior Jordanian source said on Sunday that Amman, the current president of the Arab summit, has begun consultations on convening an emergency meeting of the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation before Trump’s expected declaration this week.

“A formal U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would cause catastrophe and lead to new conflict in the Middle East,” declared today the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag.

“The status of Jerusalem and Temple Mount has been determined by international agreements. It is important to preserve Jerusalem’s status for the sake of protecting peace in the region. If another step is taken and this step is lifted, this will be a major catastrophe.” Bozdag said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday:

“Preserving the status of Jerusalem was important for all Muslim countries, international laws and United Nations decisions should be followed on the issue.”

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