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Abbas: Jerusalem is the Eternal Capital of the State of Palestine

Abbas: Jerusalem is the Eternal Capital of the State of Palestine

Wednesday, 6 December, 2017 - 19:30
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Reuters)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned on Wednesday US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

He declared: “Jerusalem will remain the eternal capital of the state of Palestine.”

Trump’s declaration means that Washington has effectively withdrawn from the peace talks, he continued.

"With this announcement, the American administration has chosen to violate all international and bilateral agreements and resolutions and it has chosen to violate international consensus," Abbas said.

The move, he said, would serve "the extremist groups which try to turn the conflict in our region into a religious war that will drag the region... into international conflicts and endless wars."

He added that Palestinian forces will meet in the upcoming days to address how to tackle the development.

“We are working on taking the necessary measures in consultation with our brothers,” he stressed.

Abbas had held talks with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi soon after Trump’s announcement.

In a speech at the White House, Trump said his administration would begin a process of moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said.

Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. It later annexed it, declaring the whole of the city as its capital - a move not recognized internationally.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state which they want to establish in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a pre-recorded video message that Trump's decision had made for a "historic day" and was "an important step towards peace".

He added that any peace deal with the Palestinians would have to include Jerusalem as Israel's capital and he urged other countries to follow the US lead by also moving their embassies to the city.

He said there would be no change to access to Jerusalem's holy sites. "Israel will always ensure freedom of worship for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike."

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