U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital has drawn sharp criticism from all around the world, as leaders warn of serious repercussions in the region.
Trump’s move could take the region “backwards to even darker times,” the EU’s diplomatic chief warned on Dec. 7.
“President Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem has a very worrying potential impact. It is a very fragile context and the announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we’re already living in,” Federica Mogherini told a press conference in Brussels.
The EU, along with other major international powers, has repeatedly voiced deep concern this week about Trump’s declaration. His move upends seven decades of U.S. ambiguity on the highly contentious status of the holy city, which is claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis.
The EU has long supported a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict and Mogherini said the 28-member bloc would keep working with both sides — as well as regional players such as Egypt and Jordan — to restart direct talks.
“We believe this difficult moment calls for an even stronger engagement for peace. The most urgent priority now is that all relevant actors avoid to further escalate tensions on the ground,” she added.
British foreign minister Boris Johnson said Trump’s decision made it all the more urgent that what he called “the long-awaited American proposals on the Middle East peace process” were brought forward.
Russia also expressed “serious concern” on Dec. 7 over Trump’s announcement, saying the move threatened security in the region.
“Moscow views the decisions announced in Washington with serious concern,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that it risked aggravating already complicated Israeli-Palestinian ties as well as security risks.
“In light of this we call on all involved parties to show restraint and forgo any action that would be fraught with dangerous and uncontrollable consequences,” the foreign ministry said.
Moscow reiterated its long-held view that a solution to the dispute over Jerusalem’s status should be negotiated through “direct Palestinian-Israeli talks.”
Moscow said earlier that it considered East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state, and the west of the city the capital of Israel.
Turkey has also slammed Trump’s Jerusalem announcement. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 7 said Trump disregarded U.N. decisions with his Dec. 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Erdoğan said the move amounted to “throwing the region into a circle of fire.”“Hey Trump, what are you trying to do?” he added, suggesting that political leaders should serve for “reconciliation rather than destabilization.”
“If Trump is saying I am powerful and right, he is wrong,” Erdoğan said.
We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US administration… the decision is against international law and relevant UN resolutions,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter on Dec. 7.