Palestinian deputy PM warns against US relocation of embassy to Jerusalem
(6 months ago)
Ramallah, Dec 5 : A Palestinian senior official called on the US on Monday to avoid taking any move that would affect the status quo of Jerusalem.
Both moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital would be unacceptable and would entail risks, Xinhua quoted Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr as saying during his meeting with US Consul General in Jerusalem.
The move would be "offensive and contrary to the role of the US administration as a mediator and a sponsor of the peace process," said the Palestinian official.
"It will disqualify the US from playing a role in the peace process and will close every door to a serious negotiation, as well as will push the entire region into more tension and instability," he added.
The Palestinian leadership would have to break up any previous understandings it had achieved with the US, should the US administration decided to change its stance on Jerusalem, warned Amr.
The US administration would also be held responsible for any possible consequences of its moves on Jerusalem, he said.
He further urged the US to reconsider its position and to preserve the "remaining chances" of achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israel.
US President Donald Trump was considering acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and might announce that on Wednesday.
Trump's adviser Jared Kushner said on Sunday that the president had not yet made a decision regarding the recognition.
Trump issued an exceptional decision to maintain the US embassy in Tel Aviv last June, which is expected to expire this month, but it is not clear whether he will renew his decision or not.
Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is considered by the Palestinians as a provocation and destruction of the peace talks.
Meanwhile, Al-Azhar, the highest Islamic learning institution for Egypt and the Sunni Muslim world dubbed on Monday that the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem a "failed step" that would cause several troubles.
Al-Azhar Undersecretary Abbas Shoman stressed during a seminar in Cairo that Jerusalem will always be an Arab and Palestinian city as the holy city constitutes an Islamic heritage and religious dimension, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.
Late on Sunday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed the potential negative of the move impacts with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call.
Shoukry has stressed that the religious and historical status of Jerusalem requires further keenness and careful consideration in dealing with such a thorny issue concerning the national identity of the Palestinian people throughout the ages.
Cairo will remain a reliable partner that could effectively contribute to building trust and encourage Palestinian and Israeli sides to revive negotiations, with the aim of achieving a just and comprehensive peace, Shoukry said.