Saudi Arabia blasts 'irresponsible' Trump

Saudi Arabia says Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "unjustified and irresponsible".

Elad Benari,

Trump and Saudi King Salman
Trump and Saudi King Salman

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday night slammed U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, calling the move "unjustified and irresponsible".

"The kingdom expresses great regret over the U.S. president's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," said a Saudi royal court statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency and quoted by AFP.

The decision goes against the "historical and permanent rights of the Palestinian people", the royal court said, calling on Trump to reconsider his decision.

"The kingdom has already warned of the serious consequences of such an unjustified and irresponsible move," the statement said.

"The U.S. move represents a significant decline in efforts to push a peace process and is a violation of the historically neutral American position on Jerusalem," it added.

Prior to Wednesday’s announcement, Saudi King Salman had warned Trump that moving the U.S. embassy for Israel to Jerusalem was a "dangerous step" that could rile Muslims worldwide.

On Monday, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, warned that any announcement on the status of Jerusalem before a final peace agreement is reached would hurt the peace process and heighten regional tensions.

Saudi Arabia is not alone, as the Arab world was livid on Wednesday following Trump’s announcement.

Iran, which is Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, strongly condemned the decision, saying it threatened a "new intifada", or uprising against Israel.

"The provocative and unwise decision by the U.S.... will provoke Muslims and inflame a new intifada and an escalation of radical, angry and violent behavior," said the Iranian foreign ministry.

The statement said Trump's move was a "clear violation of international resolutions" and that Jerusalem was "an inseparable part of Palestine".

As expected, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) blasted Trump’s move as well, with its secretary-general Saeb Erekat saying it destroys any hopes for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

"He destroyed the two-state solution," Erekat declared, adding that Trump "disqualified his country from any role whatsoever" in the peace process.

The Hamas terrorist organization also condemned Trump's decision and said that the move "open the gates of hell" on U.S. interests in the region.