RIYADH – Saudi Arabia and Turkey slammed on Thursday a decision by US President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warning the move could lead to grave repercussions.
Trump’s announcement on Wednesday would also see the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“The (Saudi) Kingdom expresses its denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step, as it represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem,” a statement from the Saudi Royal Court said.
“Although this step does not change or infringe upon the inalienable and preserved rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem (...), it does exemplify a drastic regression in the efforts to move the peace process forward,” it added.
The court stressed the importance of finding “a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the international resolutions of the UN and the Arab Peace Initiative, which contemplates the solution of two states.”
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also blasted Trump’s declaration, telling reporters at Ankara Airport before leaving for an official trip to Greece that it would plunge the Middle East into a “ring of fire.”
Erdogan added Trump was not respecting United Nations resolutions, noting the US and Israel were the only countries in the world to violate the 1980 UN resolution.
Palestinians see East Jerusalem, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, as the capital of their future state.
No nation that maintains diplomatic relations with Israel has moved to date its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and under the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinians, the city’s final status is to be settled by negotiations.