The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting on the recognition by the US of Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel as world leaders and political figures continue to censure Washington’s highly contentious move.
Diplomats said the session will be held on Friday at the request of eight member states of the 15-member council, including France, Bolivia, Egypt, Italy, Senegal, Sweden, Britain and Uruguay.
The eight have also asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to officially open the meeting.
“The UN has given Jerusalem [al-Quds] a special legal and political status, which the Security Council has called upon the international community to respect. That is why we believe the Council needs to address this issue with urgency,” Deputy Swedish UN Ambassador Carl Skau said.
Bolivian Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz called Trump’s move “a reckless and a dangerous decision which violates international law and the resolutions of the Security Council.”
Trump on Wednesday defied global warnings and said the US formally recognizes Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel, and will begin the process of moving its embassy to the occupied city, breaking with decades of American policy.
The announcement has triggered a chorus of condemnations from around the world.
Muslim nations boil with rage
The Iraqi government on Thursday slammed Trump’s announcement and called on Washington to backtrack on the move.
“The US administration has to backtrack on this decision to stop any dangerous escalation that would fuel extremism and create conditions favorable to terrorism,” a government statement said on Thursday.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also said that Trump’s decision completely disregarded a 1980 United Nations resolution regarding the status of the city, adding that move would throw the region into a “ring of fire.”
Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called on the Islamic world to strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
“I call on all Muslims across the world to let your voices be heard, make it clear that we strongly oppose any recognition of Jerusalem [al-Quds] as Israel’s capital for all time,” Najib said in his speech at an annual gathering of the ruling party in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement and expressed concerns over Trump’s move, calling on Washington to reconsider its decision.
The statement said that Trump’s announcement would put an end to all efforts towards the resolution of the Palestinian issue.
“It would have grave repercussions not only towards the security and stability of the region, but would inflame sentiments, making efforts to combat terrorism all the more difficult,” it said.
It warned that any attempts to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel or establish any diplomatic mission in the city are viewed as aggression towards the Arab and Islamic world.
“It is also an infringement on the Palestinian people’s national rights, including their right to self-determination, and a grave breach of international law along with the Security Council’s relevant resolutions,” the statement added.
The ministry requested United Nations member states not to recognize any changes in the pre-1976 borders, including in connection with Jerusalem, adding that Washington’s move “is an expression of support for Israeli policies, much of which is in contravention of the international law.”
Additionally, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry rejected the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem [al-Quds].
Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar mosque, one of Islam’s most important institutions, said Washington’s move “incites feelings of anger among all Muslims and threatens world peace.”
He warned against the ramifications, saying “the gates of hell will be opened in the West before the East.”
In Lebanon, President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday that Trump’s “dangerous” decision casts doubt on the US’s credibility as a mediator in the peace process in the region.
Morocco also summoned the US charge d’affaires to express its deep concern over Trump’s move.
Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Trump’s move “seriously threatens to undermine the foundations of the (Israeli-Palestinian) peace process.”
Tunisia’s powerful labor union UGTT also said in a separate statement that Trump’s move is a declaration of war, calling for mass protests.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani called the US president’s announcement “a dangerous escalation,” saying it was a death sentence for all who seek peace.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Foreign Ministry also joined the chorus of condemnations.
In a Thursday statement the ministry “expressed deep concern over the repercussions of this decision on the region’s stability as it inflames the emotions of the Arab and Muslim people due to the status of Jerusalem [al-Quds] in the conscience of Arabs and Muslims.”
EU against Trump’s move
The European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday expressed “serious concern” over Trump’s move, saying it could have “repercussions” for the prospect of peace in the Middle East.
Mogherini said the EU and its member states would continue to respect the international consensus on the location of their diplomatic representations in Israel until the final status of Jerusalem al-Quds was resolved.
“The EU calls on all actors on the ground and in the wider region to show calm and restraint in order to prevent any escalation. The focus should remain on creating conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations that can resolve all final status issues,” she said.
She highlighted the necessity of the so-called two-state solution as “the only realistic way of bringing the lasting peace and security” to the region.
In December last year, a UN Security Council resolution, which was approved with 14 votes in favor and an abstention by former US President Barack Obama’s administration, underlined that “it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”
The entire Jerusalem al-Quds is currently under Israel’s control, while the regime also claims the city’s eastern part, which hosts the third holiest Muslim site.
The city has been designated as “occupied” under international law since the 1967 Arab War, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Trump had vowed during his presidential campaign that he would relocate the US embassy in order to court pro-Israel voters.
Palestinians have repeatedly warned Trump against such an action, saying it would deliver a death blow to any prospects of the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and fuel extremism in the region.