Saudis voice alarm over possible US move on Jerusalem
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday voiced “grave and deep concern” over possible US plans to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the move could have serious implications for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
President Donald Trump faces a key decision this week over Jerusalem’s status, potentially reversing years of US policy and prompting a furious response from the Palestinians and the Arab world.
“Saudi Arabia (expresses) grave and deep concern over reports that the US administration intends to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem,” the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing a foreign ministry source.
“This step will have serious implications and will further complicate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It will also obstruct the ongoing efforts to revive the peace process.” The status of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious issues of the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Facing dark warnings of a historic misstep and widespread unrest, Trump on Monday delayed a decision on whether to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the US embassy there.
The White House said Trump would miss a deadline to decide on shifting the embassy from Tel Aviv, after a frantic 48 hours of public warnings from allies and private phone calls between world leaders.
The mercurial president has yet to make his final decision, officials said, but is expected to stop short of moving the embassy to Jerusalem outright, a central campaign pledge which has been postponed once already by the new administration.
-RIYADH AFP Dec5, 2017