United States President Donald Trump has declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Trump made the announcement Wednesday at the White House. He said the U.S. will begin steps to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
That process is expected to take years to complete however.
The move had been expected after Trump informed Palestinian and Jordanian leaders of the U.S. decision Tuesday.
Trump had promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital during his presidential campaign. The action is seen as an effort to complete a promise to political supporters, U.S. Jewish groups and American evangelical Christians.
However, many political and religious leaders around the world voiced serious concerns about the move.
Palestinian and Jordanian leaders condemned the U.S. plans.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned the move could have “dangerous consequences” to peace efforts in the Middle East.
In a statement Wednesday, he said Trump’s decision was “a declaration of withdrawal from the role (the U.S.) has played in the peace process.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah also expressed deep concerns. He said that “ignoring the Palestinian Muslim and Christian rights in Jerusalem will only fuel further extremism and undermine the war against terrorism.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem represented a “red line” for Muslims. He also warned that Turkey may decide to cut ties with Israel. (From learningenglish.com)