The Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

Comment by Col. (res.) Eran Lerman

 Arab nations and Palestinian officials have warned of dire consequences if the United States recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, including potential unrest and an end to the peace process, amid last-minute lobbying to prevent President Trump from making the move.

In a late-night call Sunday, Jordan’s foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, warned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that such a decision could “trigger anger across the Arab and Muslim world, fuel tension and jeopardize peace efforts,” according to Jordan’s state news agency.

Egypt’s foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry, also discussed with Tillerson the “possible negative impacts” on peace, according to a ministry spokesman. He asked that Tillerson avoid taking decisions that could “stir tensions in the region.”

Turkey said a change in policy would be a “major catastrophe.” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, meanwhile, called for an emergency meeting of the 22 members of the Arab League, which is expected to take place Tuesday.

“Any U.S. announcement on the status of Jerusalem prior to a final settlement would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region,” the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said in a statement, the Reuters news agency reported. “The kingdom’s policy has been and remains in support of the Palestinian people, and this has been communicated to the U.S. administration.”

 

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