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Arab kings express concern over United States intent to move embassy to Jerusalem

The Kings of Jordan, Morocco and Saudi Arabia have expressed their concern at the announcement that the United States would move their embassy to Jerusalem, as well as worries over the US recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Jordanian King Abdullah, who has met the President at the White House, received a call from United States President Donald Trump regarding the decision on Tuesday. The Royal Hashemite Court has stated that King Abdullah “warned of pre-empting a comprehensive solution that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

King Abdullah emphasised “that Jerusalem is key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world” and “affirmed that the decision will have serious implications that will undermine efforts to resume the peace process and will provoke Muslims and Christians alike.”

King Mohammed of Morocco sent a message to US President Trump expressing his “deep concern and that of Arab and Muslim countries following the persistent news of your Administration’s intention to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the United States’ Embassy to that city.

“I am sure you are aware, Mr President, of the paramount importance of the city of Jerusalem, not only to the parties to the conflict but also to the followers of the three revealed religions. With its unique religious character, historical identity and special political symbolism, the city of Jerusalem should remain a land as well as a symbol of coexistence and tolerance among all people.

“Since you took office, you have shown a strong desire and great determination to revive the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and you have taken promising steps toward that objective – steps that have clearly been supported by the international community, including the Kingdom of Morocco. The above-mentioned intention would have a negative impact on prospects for achieving a just, comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, particularly as the United States of America is one of the main sponsors of the peace process – one that enjoys the trust of all parties.”

King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who welcomed the President on a visit earlier this year, warned President Trump against moving the embassy saying that the move would “inflame the feelings of Muslims,” according to the Saudi Press Agency. He added that an announcement of this sort before reaching any type of permanent settlement would “harm peace talks and increase tensions in the area.”

The King made it clear that Saudi Arabia supports the Palestinian people and that “such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

President Trump is set to announce that the United States would move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recognise the holy city of all three major religions (Christianity, Islam and Judaism) as the capital of Israel today – in a drastic shift in US foreign policy in the Middle East.

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