By Kamila Aliyeva
U.S. President Donald Trump will formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, the move which may potentially lead to unpredictable consequences for the Middle East region.
He also plans to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv, White House officials confirmed on December 5.
The recognition of Jerusalem is expected to anger the Arab countries and cast a shadow over U.S.-led peace efforts in the region.
“He views this as a recognition of reality, both historic reality and modern reality,” U.S. official said.
Therefore, the announcement will also be accompanied by Trump committing to support a two-state solution if both Israel and the Palestinians back it in a likely bid to balance the decision seen as heavily favoring Israel.
Trump previously was not a supporter of the years-long U.S. position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, in this case he risked to displease both sides of the conflict. While Palestinians see it as an unwillingness to work for an independent Palestinian state, many Israelis worry that a one-state solution means that a Jewish state may be replaced by the one in which Arabs outnumbered Jews.
Trump can be truly called a game changer in the world politics stage as since he took his office, the country has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, UNESCO, declaration on migration and continues efforts which threaten Iranian nuclear deal. The recognition of Jerusalem will mark the latest unilateral break from U.S. allies.
On the eve of his announcement, Trump made a series of calls to leaders in the region, including Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said the Palestinian leader had warned Trump of the dangers of such a decision to Middle East peace efforts as well as security and stability in the world.
King Abdullah issued a statement telling Trump that such a decision would have “dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region” and would damage U.S. efforts to resume Arab-Israeli peace talks.
King Salman expressed the view that “such a dangerous step is likely to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world due to the great status of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Recognition of Jerusalem can lead to interreligious clashes, said Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
The United States should not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, since it is contrary to international law.
Earlier, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned it could severe ties with a Jewish state if the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as its capital.
He noted that the United States should understand that Jerusalem is a “red line” for all Muslims.
Israel proclaimed Jerusalem its capital after the end of the War of Independence in 1949. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, it seized East Jerusalem and united it with the Western, but the UN did not recognize this. Embassies of countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel are located mainly in Tel Aviv, Ramat-Gan and Herzliya.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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