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US recognition of Jerusalem threat to Middle East peace warns Bahrain

Bahrain News
Thu, 07 Dec 2017

MANAMA: Bahrain last night warned that the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “threatens Middle East peace”.

Bahrain’s statement came as Arabs and Muslims across the region condemned President Donald Trump’s decision as an incendiary move in a volatile region.

Bahrain, in a statement, affirmed its unwavering support for the Palestinians’ right to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It also stressed the importance of maintaining the pivotal role of the US in reaching a two-state solution in compliance with international resolutions and Arab peace initiative.

Trump earlier in the evening reversed decades of US policy by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in defiance of warnings from around the world that the gesture risks aggravating conflict in a chronically volatile Middle East.

The decision also jeopardises America’s historical role as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, prompting the European Union and the UN to voice alarm.

Thousands of people, from Bahrain to Turkey, have planned to stage protests today. Palestinians have called for “three days of rage”. Sporadic protests were reported last night in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman warned the US leader that shifting the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “would constitute a flagrant provocation to all Muslims, all over the world.”

Jordan rejected the US decision saying it was “legally null” because it consolidated Israel’s occupation of the eastern sector of the contested city in the 1967 war. The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue.

Trump, however, said his move is not intended to tip the scale in favour of Israel and that any deal involving the future of Jerusalem would have to be negotiated by the parties. He also said he remained committed to the two-state solution if the parties want one. Trump called on the region to take his message calmly.

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