US allies condemn Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, U.S.

Traditional US allies are among a growing chorus condemning President Donald Trump‘s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Saudi Arabia called it “unjustified and irresponsible”, while France and the UK said they did not support the decision.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Donald Trump’s move as “deplorable” and said Jerusalem was the “eternal capital of the state of Palestine”.

The UN Security Council is to discuss the issue on Friday after eight of the 15 nations called for an emergency session. The Arab League is to meet on Saturday.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed it as “a historic day”.

The US President said on Wednesday he had “judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America, and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians”.

He said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality”, he added. “It is also the right thing to do.”

Trump said the US still supported a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if approved by both sides, which would essentially see the creation of an independent Palestinian state living alongside Israel.

The Islamist Movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza strip and has called for a “day of rage” on Friday, said Trump’s decision would “open the doors of hell” on US interests in the region.

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