Jerusalem: World leaders have expressed their concern over US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the face of intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to the move.
“We have noted the report. We are closely following the development and express concern over the possible aggravation of regional tensions,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
“The issue of Jerusalem’s status is complicated and sensitive. All sides should focus on regional peace and tranquility, act with caution, and avoid sabotaging the foundation for the settlement of Palestinian issues and triggering new confrontation in the region.”
“China always firmly supports and promotes the Middle East peace process, as well as the Palestinian people’s just cause to regain their legitimate national rights. We support an independent state of Palestine based on the boundary in 1967 with the capital of East Jerusalem that enjoys the full sovereignty.
“We call on all sides concerned to stay committed to solve the dispute through negotiation according to relevant UN resolutions and promote regional peace and stability,” the Chinese official said as reported by the Associated Press.
Theresa May, British Prime Minister, May stopped short of condemning the move as requested by Labor Member of Parliament, Ben Bradshaw, but added that the position of the British government on Jerusalem had not changed.
“Well, I say to the right honorable gentleman that I am intending to speak to President Trump about this about this matter… We recognize the importance of Jerusalem and our position on that has not changed,” she said.
Prince Sultan bin Salman, Chairman of the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage in Saudi Arabia, said Saudi Arabia’s policy regarding the Palestinians will never change.
“The message is clear, and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz has taken a clear stand during his telephone conversation with President Trump.
Saudi Arabia’s policy regarding the Palestinians will never change we have a clear policy and the Palestinian issue is the main case for us,” he said.
King Abdullah II, King of Jordan, said there is no alternative to the two-state solution and Jerusalem adding that it is key to any peace agreement.
“Ignoring the Palestinian, Muslim and Christian rights in Jerusalem will only fuel further extremism and undermine the war against terrorism,” he said.
Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, said the issue of Jerusalem must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties.
“From day one as Secretary-General of the United Nations I have consistently spoken out against any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
“Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides,” he said.
Ismail Radwan, a Hamas official, said they rejected the decision, calling it an act of aggression against Palestinians.
“We reject this decision which is an aggression displayed toward the people, the nation, the cause and the principles. It’s also a dangerous shift in the conflict with the Zionist occupation,” the Hamas official said.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the status of Jerusalem is a question of international security.
“I made our position very clear to President Trump during our exchange two days ago. The status of Jerusalem is a question of international security which concerns all of the international community. I declare clearly in front of you that the status of Jerusalem shall be determined by the Israelis and the Palestinians in the framework of the negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations,” he said.
Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, said her government is committed to a two-state solution.
“The Australian government is committed to a two-state solution whereby the Israeli people and the Palestinian people can live in peace, side by side within internationally recognized boundaries and that remains our foreign policy objective in relation to the issues in Israel with the Israeli state and the Palestinian authority,” she said.
Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital while paying little recognition to the Palestinian claim to the eastern part of the city.