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Trump Informs Jordan King of Intention to Move US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Trump Informs Jordan King of Intention to Move US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017 - 18:00
US President Donald Trump. (AP)

US President Donald Trump informed Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday that he intends to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in a step that will likely inflame tensions in the region.

A Jordanian palace statement said that Trump telephoned the monarch to inform him of his intention, while King Abdullah replied that the decision would "dangerous repercussions on the stability and security of the region."

It would obstruct US efforts to resume Arab-Israeli peace talks and also inflame Muslim and Christian feelings, he warned according to the statement.

US endorsement of Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would break with decades of US policy that the city's status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city.

King Abdullah warned Trump of the risks of any decision that ran counter to a final settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict based on the creation of an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

"Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world," the palace statement said.

The monarch also phoned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and said they had to both work together to "confront the consequences of this decision."

King Abdullah's Hashemite dynasty is the custodian of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, making Amman sensitive to any changes of status of the disputed city.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump told Abbas that he intends to move the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Abbas on Tuesday urged the Pope and the leaders of Russia, France and Jordan to intervene against Trump's declared intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, Abbas's spokesman said.

"President Abbas spoke after his call with President Trump with the presidents of Russia and France, with the Pope and with King Abdullah of Jordan. He told them such a move was rejected and he urged them to intervene to prevent it from happening," Nabil Abu Rudainah told Reuters.

He said Abbas was not informed about the timing of the planned transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had phoned Abbas to tell him Moscow backs a resumption of talks between Israel and Palestinian authorities, including on the status of Jerusalem, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

No other details on the issue were provided.

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